August 21, 2018

Manchin Participates in Roundtable Discussion on Pre-Existing Conditions in Shepherdstown

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) participated in a roundtable discussion today in West Virginia with religious, business and community leaders and West Virginians with pre-existing conditions. They discussed the lawsuit threatening West Virginians’ pre-existing conditions protections. This is the fourth roundtable Senator Manchin has hosted or participated in on pre-existing conditions since the lawsuit was filed by West Virginia’s Attorney General to allow insurance companies to once again deny coverage to West Virginians with pre-existing conditions.

“Today, I got the chance to talk with religious leaders, business owners, individuals of the medical community and West Virginians with pre-existing conditions in the Eastern Panhandle. I’m hearing from people all across West Virginia that they are scared that this lawsuit, being waged by West Virginia’s Attorney General, to repeal their healthcare will go through and they will be dropped from their health insurance, or be unable to afford the payments. With nearly 800,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions, this impacts every family in West Virginia. For West Virginians with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, asthma and many other illnesses and conditions, including pregnancy, this could be the difference between life and death. I’m doing everything I can to prevent that from happening,” Senator Manchin said.

“West Virginians shouldn’t be penalized for having a pre-existing condition. Cancer patients didn’t plan their disease! To eliminate the opportunity to keep pre-existing conditions is a death sentence to those of us with them,” George and Brooke Blough from Berkeley County said.

“As a diabetic myself, the issue of health insurance coverage with a pre-existing condition is something I think about often. As a pastor, I’m sensitive to the needs of senior citizens particularly and those with pre-existing conditions who struggle to purchase and maintain adequate healthcare insurance,” said Pastor Eddie Edmonds, Moler Avenue Church of the Brothren.

“West Virginia has the highest rate of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, substance abuse and cancer of any state. So many of our citizens have pre-existing conditions and without access to affordable healthcare their diseases will progress leaving them unable to be productive members of society and contributing members of our economic sector,” said Dr. Dawn Jones, Chief Medical Officer at Shenandoah Community Health.

Senator Manchin is asking 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.