June 30, 2020

Manchin Urges DOJ To Defend ACA, Protect Healthcare Coverage For West Virginians With Pre-Existing Conditions During COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) led 46 Senators in introducing a resolution urging the Department of Justice (DOJ) to defend existing law, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), in court and halt its efforts to repeal the healthcare protections for 800,000 West Virginians and millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is unconscionable that during a global health crisis that has killed 93 West Virginians and over 125,000 Americans, the DOJ and Republican Attorneys General, including West Virginia’s Attorney General, continue to support pulling the rug out from under 800,000 West Virginians and millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions. My resolution calls on the DOJ to protect access to the quality, affordable healthcare coverage every American and West Virginian deserves by defending the ACA in court. I hope the DOJ and Republican Attorneys General will stop these continuous attacks on West Virginian’s healthcare and realize that while the ACA is nowhere near perfect, we have to work to fix the system we have instead of throwing millions off of their coverage in the middle of a pandemic,” said Senator Manchin.

Last week, the DOJ and a group of Republican Attorneys General submitted a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court urging it to invalidate the ACA and pull the rug out from underneath the millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions who depend on the law for healthcare coverage. If the Supreme Court agrees and overturns the ACA, 184,000 West Virginians could lose coverage, including the 156,000 West Virginians enrolled through Medicaid expansion, and over 22,000 West Virginians who have received treatment for mental health and substance use disorders through Medicaid expansion.

Additionally more than 800,000 West Virginians who have a pre-existing conditions could once again face annual or lifetime caps, medical underwriting for their insurance coverage, or denials for the care they need. Across the board, the state would lose billions of dollars in federal funds, causing significant job losses and jeopardizing West Virginia’s rural hospitals and health centers. This decision comes in the middle of a global health crisis that has already affected the viability of health providers across West Virginia.

Manchin’s resolution urges DOJ to reverse its position and instead protect the millions of people who rely on the ACA for healthcare coverage amid the COVID-19 pandemic that has infected more than 2.5 million Americans and killed more than 125,000, including 93 West Virginians.

To view the resolution, please click here.