Politifact recently examined the lawsuit that was filed in February of 2018 by several State Attorney Generals to block the Affordable Care Act and end the law’s pre-existing conditions protections. The reason for Politifact’s examination is that the Democratic Senator from West Virginia, Joe Manchin, correctly pointed out that his Republican opponent Patrick Morrisey is one of the Attorney Generals who is trying to allow health insurers to deny coverage through this lawsuit.
About the lawsuit
Manchin is referring to a lawsuit filed in a U.S. district court in Texas on Feb. 26, 2018. The lawsuit was signed by 18 attorneys general and two governors, all of them Republicans. The suit challenges the Affordable Care Act, arguing that “the ACA is unlawful” and seeking to enjoin, or block, its operation.
One of the attorney generals who signed onto the lawsuit is Morrisey:
Various health-policy specialists agreed that such a decision from the court would effectively eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
The statement ia accurate but needs additional information, so we rate it Mostly True.
You may have noticed another State Attorney General on the list: Josh Hawley from Missouri. Like Patrick Morrisey from West Virginia, Josh Hawley also secured the Republican nomination to run for the Senate from his State.
Members of several organizations – Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri, Missouri Jobs with Justice and Protect Our Care Missouri – held a press conference Wednesday, in their words, to sound the alarm on efforts they say will take away those protections including a lawsuit backed by Attorney General Josh Hawley that is challenging the Affordable Care Act.
…But those protections, Senator Claire McCaskill says, are being threatened by a lawsuit challenging the ACA, which her opponent in the November race, Attorney General Josh Hawley, supports.
Of course, both of these Republican Senate candidates are now claiming that they do support protections for people with pre-existing conditions, even though they are suing to take those protections away.
There is an expression that would seem apropos here: Don’t listen to what people say, watch what they do.
And it isn’t just Senate candidates who support this lawsuit to take away pre-existing conditions protections. There are also GOP Governors seeking re-election who support the lawsuit.
Like Scott Walker in Wisconsin:
The lawsuit, which Schimel led along with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, argues that the individual mandate is unconstitutional and that the entire law should be blocked.
Walker, a longtime critic of the law known as “Obamacare,” signed off on Schimel pursuing the lawsuit because it questions the constitutionality of the law, said his spokeswoman Amy Hasenberg.
And, besides these GOP Senate and Governor candidates who have explicitly signed onto the lawsuit to take away pre-existing conditions protections, there are a number who are also supporting the lawsuit while lying about the effects of the lawsuit, like these GOP Senators from Iowa and Nebraska:
“Now that we’ve repealed that tax, it can’t be constitutional,” Grassley said of the ACA.
Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., is a member of the Judiciary Committee and ran for office in large part on his opposition to the ACA.
“The decision by the Department of Justice shows the complexities and challenges of this system,” Sasse said in a written statement. “Obamacare’s biggest challenge isn’t the Department of Justice, it’s basic math. The left needs to stop pretending that Obamacare works great, and the right needs to keep its promise to repeal and replace with a system that actually works to protect the most vulnerable in our communities, while driving down costs.”
Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., said the lawsuit is a matter for state officials and downplayed the idea that pre-existing condition protections could go away.
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, hit a similar note and said she’d heard from colleagues that those with pre-existing conditions would be safe.
Finally, what is most dangerous about this lawsuit to strip away protections for those with pre-existing conditions is that, even though the lawsuit is being filed against the federal government, the current administration also supports the lawsuit.
The Trump administration is supporting a lawsuit that challenges parts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), arguing that federal courts should find the health law’s protection for people with pre-existing conditions unconstitutional.
It can become wearisome hearing that every election matters, but if you are somebody with a pre-existing condition, like 130 million other Americans, this election certainly matters.
About half of nonelderly Americans have one or more pre-existing health conditions, according to a recent brief by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, that examined the prevalence of conditions that would have resulted in higher rates, condition exclusions, or coverage denials before the ACA. Approximately 130 million nonelderly people have pre-existing conditions nationwide.