August 03, 2018

Manchin Hosts Roundtable Discussion on Pre-Existing Conditions with Clergy in Wheeling

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) hosted a roundtable discussion with leaders from West Virginia’s clergy in Wheeling today to discuss the lawsuit threatening West Virginians’ pre-existing conditions protections. Right now, 20 U.S. Attorneys General, including the Attorney General of West Virginia, are suing to allow insurance companies to once again deny coverage to West Virginians with pre-existing conditions. This is the third roundtable discussion with clergy Senator Manchin has hosted to hear from leaders of religious communities throughout the state on how important pre-existing conditions protections are to their congregations.

“Today, clergy members in Wheeling and I discussed the role our faith can play in protecting healthcare coverage for West Virginians. We talked about the fact that right now West Virginia’s Attorney General is suing to allow insurance companies to once again deny coverage to West Virginians with pre-existing conditions. If he succeeds, every person in our state would be effected. Nearly 800,000 West Virginians have a pre-existing condition, including 90,600 children. This means turning our backs on West Virginians with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, asthma or women who are pregnant. I am determined to protect these individuals and their families from the old discriminatory practices of the health insurance industry. For a lot of West Virginians with pre-existing conditions, insurance coverage is the difference between life and death, and I will do everything I can to protect them,” Senator Manchin said.

“All life is sacred. All people are created in the image of a loving God and throughout our Holy texts, we, as people of faith are instructed to care for those who are suffering. This includes people with pre-existing conditions. No one who is suffering from a chronic illness should be denied right to healthcare because of their pre-existing condition. God’s desire for humanity is that we care and love each other reflecting for each other the love of the divine. As a Pastorm m concern when it comes to the topic of pre-existing coverage, is that in a country driven by profits, there isn’t room for the voices of God’s prophets,” said Pastor Sherri Schafer, Pastor of Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church and Executive Director of Community Lutheran Partners.

Last month, Senator Manchin asked West Virginians to share their stories about the importance of protecting access for those with pre-existing conditions by emailing them to Senator Manchin will read these stories on the Senate Floor.