June 26, 2020

Manchin Appalled By Republican Attorneys General, DOJ Actions To Eliminate Healthcare For Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions

Charleston, WV – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on the appalling decision by the Republican Attorneys General and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file amicus briefs in California v Texas, the case which aims to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as unconstitutional.

“Our country is in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, the worst health crisis anyone alive today has ever seen. This is one of the most critical times for Americans to have health insurance, but Republican Attorneys General, including our own West Virginia Attorney General, and the DOJ are still determined to take away health insurance from 800,000 West Virginians and millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions,” Senator Manchin said. “I’ve said again and again that the ACA is not perfect but we simply cannot throw the baby out with the bath water, especially during a global health crisis that has already killed 92 West Virginians and over 120,000 Americans. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to pass commonsense, bipartisan legislation to fix our current healthcare system without kicking millions of Americans off of their insurance. And I will keep fighting to expand healthcare coverage for Americans who have lost their employer insurance due to the COVID-19 pandemic in future relief packages. These repeated attacks on the health and well-being of hard working West Virginians are unacceptable and I will not stop fighting until every West Virginian has protected access to quality, affordable health insurance.”

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services released a report yesterday showing the number of Americans gaining coverage in the ACA exchanges is the highest in at least the last 4 years, with a 46% increase over the same time period and a 139% increase from April 2019 to April 2020 alone.

Senator Manchin’s efforts in 2020 to expand and protect healthcare for West Virginians:

·         May 14th – Senator Manchin joined an amicus brief filed in California v Texas which aims to strike down the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as unconstitutional.

·         May 8th – Senator Manchin calls DOJ decision to support Republican Attorneys General lawsuit to throw out ACA unthinkable.

·         April 17th – Senator Manchin pressed congressional leaders to ensure future COVID-19 relief packages included measures to secure healthcare coverage for Americans who lost employer-based benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

·         April 8th – Senator Manchin advocated for the reopening of the ACA online marketplace so West Virginians and Americans can sign up for health insurance during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

·         February 14th – Senator Manchin urged President Trump direct DOJ to protect the law of the land, which provides healthcare coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

·         January 14th – Senator Manchin urged caution with respect to the West Virginia Healthcare Continuity Act to Members of the West Virginia State Legislature and urged them to support the state’s withdrawal from the Texas v. United States lawsuit.