Senators on Pre-Existing Conditions in Trumpcare

Obamacare tax pre-existing conditions coverage reform is being debated by the Senate.
Image: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Revamping pre-existing conditions coverage could be couched in a state waiver program, but repeal could take healthcare law out of budget reconciliation.

According to the Hill, some conservatives, including Senator Mike Lee of Utah want to repeal pre-existing conditions and other ObamaCare mandates and let states decide to ensure funding healthcare.

But, Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, a fellow member of the Republican Party is in favor of pre-existing condition protections and wants to leave many of the regulations conservatives say drive up costs. The Hill reported he endorsed a “Jimmy Kimmel test” for the bill, where no one can be denied coverage.

“The president’s been pretty adamant that he wants to take care of people with pre-existing conditions,” Cassidy said.

States Opt-In or Opt-Out Program Suggested

An option for states to waive out is also being debated. A waiver program could require states to auto enroll people into a basic state health plan, perhaps with a tax credit to pay for it, and eliminate the individual mandate.

Conservatives do not like the ideal of auto enrollment — they want individuals to opt-in. One conservative aide called auto enrollment “socialized medicine.”

Repealing Essential Health Benefits Could Kill Passage with Reconciliation

By voting to relate healthcare law changes to the Federal budget process, as the Senate and then House of Representatives did in January, changes would pass with a simple majority vote without the chance for filibuster.

In order to repeal coverage for pre-existing conditions, some lawmakers propose funding high-risk pools to step in and provide coverage. However, opposing senators have argued those pools are underfunded, and others suggest an actuary be brought in to determine how much funding will be needed to fund high-risk pools.

There is a question whether repealing Essential Health Benefits, which require pre-existing conditions coverage, can be repealed under budget reconciliation.

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin argued that all of ObamaCare could be repealed under reconciliation because the regulations drive up premiums, which in turn drives up government spending on subsidies. “They’re all budget related,” he said.

Read the original story on The Hill’s website.

Latest Healthcare Bill Promises Lower Costs & Pre-Existing Condition Changes

About the author

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox

Andrea Fox is Editor of and Senior Editor at Lexipol. She is based in Massachusetts.