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Kuster, Beyer, Courtney Re-Introduce Legislation to Protect Individuals with Preexisting Conditions, Bolster ACA Safeguards

**This legislation would revoke harmful Trump administration guidance that weakened protections for individuals with preexisting conditions, ensure it’s not implemented in the future** **The Members introduced a previous version of this legislation in the 116th Congress**

Today, on the 11th anniversary of President Obama signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02), Don Beyer (VA-08), and Joe Courtney (CT-02)  reintroduced legislation that would safeguard individuals with preexisting conditions from being denied coverage or charged more. The Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act was introduced in the House and an identical bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Mark Warner (VA).

“We cannot go back to a time when Americans with preexisting conditions could be denied coverage or be charged more for their health care,” said Rep. Kuster. “I was proud to reintroduce  the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act today to ensure the former Trump administration’s harmful guidance promoting junk health plans that don’t cover preexisting conditions will never go into effect. Despite more than a decade of Republicans’ efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act,  the ACA remains the law of the land and continues to ensure that those living with preexisting conditions are protected. I remain focused on strengthening our health care system, and I will continue working to bolster the ACA and expand access to  quality, affordable care for all Americans.”

“Since it passed eleven years ago, the Affordable Care Act has made health care more accessible and affordable for tens of millions of Americans, but unfortunately during all that time Republicans have never stopped trying to sabotage or repeal this life-saving law,” said Rep. Beyer. “Our bill would help ensure we never go back to a time when Americans are denied coverage or faced with prohibitive charges for pre-existing conditions, and would prohibit the junk plans that were pushed by the last President. House Democrats have made a commitment to fight for more affordable health care and that is exactly what we are seeking to do.”

“I was pleased to join Representative Kuster in 2019 when we introduced the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act in the 116th Congress, and since then it’s become clearer than ever before that protecting coverage for Americans with preexisting conditions is an absolute imperative,” said Rep. Courtney. “We passed this bill in the House last Congress with Rep. Kuster leading the way, but once again the Senate chose to not even bring the House bill up for a vote—this one an effort to protect Americans with preexisting conditions—and ten months later we were hit by a completely unprecedented global pandemic. We’ve got a chance to get it right this Congress, and I’m grateful for Congresswoman Kuster’s continued leadership on this critical issue. I look forward to working again this year to get our bill across the finish line in the House, and finally up for a vote in the Senate.”

“For years, the Trump administration actively worked to undermine the success of the Affordable Care Act – including by threatening protections for Americans with preexisting conditions,” said Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) who introduced companion legislation in the Senate. “In fact, when the Trump administration instituted the Section 1332 waiver rule, they gave states the green light to once again discriminate against millions of Americans. With more than 30 million Americans diagnosed with COVID-19 – a disease now widely considered a preexisting condition – we’ve got to ensure that Americans aren’t paying higher costs or getting denied access to the affordable health care coverage they need.”

The Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act would revoke Section 1332 guidance released by the former Trump administration’s U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on October 22, 2018, which weakened protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Under the Trump administration’s guidance, states can apply for a waiver that allows them to circumvent essential health benefits, protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, and use federal funds to subsidize the purchase of junk health plans. This legislation also works to ensure this harmful guidance cannot be implemented by future generations.

The full text of The Protecting Americans with Pre-existing Conditions Act is available HERE.