N.C. Congressman Robert Pittenger on Pre-existing Conditions: If You Have One, Find a New State | News
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Tuesday, May 2, 2017

N.C. Congressman Robert Pittenger on Pre-existing Conditions: If You Have One, Find a New State

Posted by on Tue, May 2, 2017 at 4:59 PM

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It's like deja vu all over again. After a colossal failure on health care just over a month ago, House Republicans are trying, once again, to revive their alternative to Obamacare.

Their latest attempt, the American Health Care Act 2.0, is facing pushback from politicians on both sides of the aisle, particularly over concerns about the new plan's impact on Americans with pre-existing conditions, a popular provision of the Affordable Care Act. Despite an assurance from Donald Trump—who may or may not actually actually know what’s in the health care overhaul he’s touting—that the Republican plan guarantees coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions, the bill allows states to opt out of certain Obamacare provisions that would let insurers drive up their coverage fees.

This morning, U.S. Representative Robert Pittenger, R-Charlotte, decided to weigh in.

“People can go to the state that they want to live in," he said in response to questions about whether the bill would increase coverage costs for people with pre-existing conditions, according to Talking Points Memo. “States have all kinds of different policies and there are disparities among states for many things: driving restrictions, alcohol, whatever. We’re putting choices back in the hands of the states.”

In other words, if you have a pre-existing condition, you can always move.

That’s perhaps not as bad as Pittenger’s colleague from Alabama, Mo Brooks, who said that having a preexisting condition is the price you pay for not living right.
“My understanding is that it will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool,” said Brooks. “That helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now those are the people—who’ve done things the right way—that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”
Republicans’ first attempt to pass the ACHA failed without a vote in March; this bill may meet a similar fate. Yesterday, several Republican lawmakers said they were opposed (as of now, seventeen are undecided), and there is no vote currently scheduled in the House.

Related: last night, Jimmy Kimmel explained why coverage for people with pre-existing conditions—like his son, who was born with a congenital heart condition—is so important.



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