oday, the Kaiser Health Network (KHN) reported that Missourians are among those who would suffer most if a lawsuit filed by Josh Hawley and 19 other Republican Attorneys General is successful. While Missouri has one of the highest rates of adults with pre-existing conditions, Hawley’s lawsuit “calls on federal courts to find the health law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions unconstitutional.” Nearly 2.5 million Missourians could lose coverage due to the lawsuit. Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms professor Justin Giovannelli told KHN that plaintiffs like Hawley “are paying lip service to these critical protections for people, but they are in fact engaged in a strategy that would get rid of those protections.”
If the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with preexisting medical conditions are struck down in court, residents of the Republican-led states that are challenging the law have the most to lose.
“These states have been opposed to the ACA from the beginning,” said Gerald Kominski, a senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. “They’re hurting their most vulnerable citizens.”
…By extension, the suit calls on federal courts to find the health law’s protections for people with preexisting conditions unconstitutional — and Sessions agrees.
Nine of the 11 states with the highest rates of preexisting conditions among adults under 65 have signed onto the lawsuit to strike down the ACA, according to data from insurance companies and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
…Plaintiffs in the lawsuit “are paying lip service to these critical protections for people, but they are in fact engaged in a strategy that would get rid of those protections,” said Justin Giovannelli, an associate research professor at Georgetown University’s Center on Health Insurance Reforms. “Frankly, it’s hard to square what they’re saying on the one hand and what they’re arguing in the courts on the other.”
According to a poll released in June, also by the Kaiser Family Foundation, three-quarters of Americans say that maintaining protections for people with preexisting conditions is “very important.” This includes majorities of Democratic, Republican and independent voters.
Before the health law was adopted, insurance companies routinely denied coverage to millions of people with preexisting conditions who purchased insurance through the individual marketplace.
…The ACA ended those practices.