Democrats are working to protect American's health care — while Trump is trying to tear it down
House Democrats passed the "Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act" Thursday by a vote of 226-183, with just four Republican willing to buck Donald Trump, who said he'd veto the bill in the unlikely event Mitch McConnell allowed it to come to the floor and pass in the Senate.
This is the first in what promises to be a slew of healthcare bills from House Democrats, a dozen over the next few weeks, reiterating their commitment to keeping quality health care accessible and affordable and to fight Trump's sabotage of the Affordable Care Act. "Every speech by Republicans in 2018 stated that they wanted to protect patients with pre-existing conditions," said the bill's sponsor, Rep. Ann Kuster of New Hampshire. "I think, symbolically, this bill is the one that frames the rest of the issues, and our focus on expanding health care," she said. "It's also about pushing back on this administration's attempts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act at every step along the way."
The bill would roll back the Trump administration's regulation allowing states to offer cheap health insurance plans that don't comply with the ACA in competition with more expensive, comprehensive, and compliant plans on their exchanges. These stop-gap plans were allowed in the ACA for a very limited duration, and didn't have to comply with all the protections in the law, but the Trump administration has extended them. So far no states have taken the administration up on the waivers, available since October, possibly because they recognize what the Democrats do—that this is an extremely important political issue for 2020, and that it created the 2018 Democratic wave.
With Trump's lawsuit that threatens the entirety of the ACA promising to dominate the issue for the next year and a half, Republicans are going to have a lot of chances to show their constituents who they're going to stand with.