August 27, 2018

Senate Republicans Run From AG Morrisey Lawsuit To Deny Coverage To West Virginians With Pre-Existing Conditions

Washington, D.C. – On Thursday, August 23rd, Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and 9 fellow Republicans filed a bill separating themselves from the ongoing lawsuit threatening to strip away critical protections for people with pre-existing conditions. While the bill would not provide anywhere near the level of protection necessary to protect the nearly 800,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions, it acknowledges for the first time the tragic consequences of the lawsuit now pending in the Northern District of Texas (Texas vs. United States), led by 20 Republican Attorneys General, including West Virginia’s Attorney General.

“From the minute West Virginia’s Attorney General entered into Texas vs. United States to deny protections for West Virginians with pre-existing conditions, I have been meeting with clergy, doctors and nurses, hospital administrators, insurance companies and those with pre-existing conditions to fight this lawsuit to once again allow insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. I even went as far as to introduce a resolution to authorize the Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in this cruel lawsuit on behalf of the U.S. Senate to defend these men, women and children and fight for their right to affordable health insurance access.

“Senate Republicans have finally admitted that this horrendous lawsuit is dangerous for the country and are scrambling to find a fix. Unfortunately, with only a few days before this harmful lawsuit begins, this legislation is just a weak attempt to disguise their efforts to roll back protections for nearly 800,000 West Virginians with pre-existing conditions. If Republican Attorneys General win this lawsuit, we will go back to a time when insurance companies could deny coverage to people with diabetes, arthritis, cancer, heart disease and any other pre-existing condition. This harmful lawsuit should never have been brought in the first place and is dangerous for West Virginians,” Senator Manchin said.

In the press release, Senator Tillis and the nine other Republicans on the bill wrote, “Oral arguments in Texas v. United States will begin on September 5th, and if the judge rules in favor of the plaintiffs, protections for patients with pre-existing conditions could be eliminated.” Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) said in their own words that this lawsuit will take away healthcare coverage from people with pre-existing conditions.

Senator Tillis said, “This legislation is a common-sense solution that guarantees Americans with pre-existing conditions will have health care coverage, regardless of how our judicial system rules on the future of Obamacare.”

Senator Murkowski said, “With the uncertainty of the outcome in the upcoming Texas v. United States case, this legislation is needed now more than ever to give Alaskans, and all Americans, the certainty they need that protections for those with pre-existing conditions will remain intact. I’m proud to support a bill that will make sure no one loses coverage.”