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Economic Prosperity

REPORT: Latest Health Care Repeal Bill Could Cause Massive Premium Increases for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

Sep 19, 2017

Under Graham-Cassidy Plan, States Can Eliminate Protections for People with Pre-Existing Conditions

A new analysis finds that under the Senate Republicans’ latest health care repeal proposal, people with pre-existing conditions such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, pregnancy, and drug addiction may face massive premium increases, rendering health insurance unaffordable for many Americans.

The analysis, published by the Center for American Progress, finds that individuals with pre-existing conditions could pay tens of thousands of dollars more for coverage under the so-called Graham-Cassidy bill. Those with pre-existing conditions like metastatic cancer and lung, brain, and other severe cancers would be among the hardest hit, facing premium hikes of $142,650 and $72,980, respectively.

Patients battling drug addiction — such as Ohioans currently struggling with opioid addiction — could also face huge premium increases. According to Axios, the Graham-Cassidy bill offers no new funding to address the nation’s growing opioid crisis.

Under the Affordable Care Act, insurers cannot charge individuals more for having a pre-existing condition, nor can insurers deny individuals coverage based on a pre-existing condition.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown has voiced his opposition to the Graham-Cassidy proposal. Ohio Senator Rob Portman has not yet indicated publicly where he stands on the legislation.

In addition to gutting protections for people with pre-existing conditions, the Graham-Cassidy bill would cause millions to lose health care coverage, end Medicaid as we know it, and increase out-of-pocket costs for people in the individual market. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities recently found that, under the Graham-Cassidy bill, Ohio stands to lose more than $2.5 billion in federal funding. The bill also eliminates the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.

In an attempt to pass ACA repeal before September 30 — the deadline for the Senate to pass budgetary legislation with simple majority support — some Senate Republicans are recklessly pushing the Graham-Cassidy bill forward, despite the fact that the full impact of the bill is not yet known to lawmakers or the public. Shockingly, according to reports, the bill would be subject to only 90 seconds of debate before being voted on in the Senate.