The latest challenge to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has prompted Republican Senators to introduce a bill that would bar insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, and from charging higher premiums due to a person’s health or claims experience.
The ACA already ensures these protections, but concerns about the potential political fallout if a federal district court in Texas finds the ACA unconstitutional and invalidates these protections has led Senators to seek legislative options to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions. The Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act (S. 3388) was introduced on August 23rd and referred to the Senate HELP committee. Oral arguments in the Texas case begin on September 5th. Some observers have suggested that this could signal a shift in the Republican approach to ACA repeal in general, and specifically, coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions, which has seen broad support across various constituencies.