September 30, 2020

Manchin: The Only People Covered By Protect Act Are Senate Republicans

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) released the following statement on his vote against the Protect Act – a misleading bill that will do nothing to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions from losing their access to comprehensive healthcare.

“For 10 years, Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans have been leading the charge to dismantle the Affordable Care Act without a replacement plan. We now find ourselves 42 days away from the Texas vs. California arguments and Senate Republicans are once again shopping a do-nothing bill to fool Americans into thinking their loved ones with pre-existing conditions will be protected. The only people covered by this bill are Senate Republicans. The Affordable Care Act is in need of repairs but to throw the baby out with the bathwater will leave 800,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions without the care they desperately need.”


Senator Thom Tillis’ (R-NC) Protect Act was initially introduced in April 2019 and reintroduced just last week.

  • The proposal fails to provide an explanation for “treatments” for pre-existing condition exclusions. Meaning that while a consumer with pre-existing conditions can gain coverage, the bill could allow insurers to exclude certain types of care. For example, a patient with a history of cancer would gain insurance coverage, but the insurer would be able to exclude coverage for screenings or treatment for a reoccurrence of cancer.
  • It poses no limit on how much more insurers in the individual market could charge a patient dependent on health status, age gender or occupation. Meaning a woman of childbearing age could be charged more because of her gender, as well as a 50 year old with heart disease, because of their age.

Current protections for patients with pre-existing conditions include:

·         Guaranteed access to insurance in the individual market regardless of health. Previously, insurers typically used medical underwriting to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and also excluded coverage of any pre-existing conditions for people who were accepted.

·         Community rating in the individual and small business markets, prohibiting insurers from varying premiums based on people’s health, which was common before the ACA.

·         Required coverage of essential benefits. Prior to the ACA, insurers in the individual market often excluded coverage of maternity, mental health, and substance abuse.