News & Politics

The States Attacking Obamacare Pre-Existing Condition Protections Would Be Most Harmed by Their Repeal

These efforts will disproportionately hurt the people of the states that are now suing to strike down the law's protection

Gov. Mike Parsons of Missouri. The state's pre-existing condition rate is over 35 percent.

At some point you would think that the leadership in Republican states would just get over their hatred of President Barack Obama and realize that the Affordable Care Act has helped them. Or failing that, the people Obamacare has been helping would realize they have shitheads for leadership, and vote them out. Because here we go again—the efforts of Republican leadership in conservatives states will disproportionately hurt the people of the states that are now suing to strike down the law's protections, reports Kaiser Health News.

"These states have been opposed to the ACA from the beginning," said Gerald Kominski, a senior fellow at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research. "They’re hurting their most vulnerable citizens."

Looking at data from insurance companies and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, KHN determined which states have the highest rates of adults with pre-existing conditions, and 9 out of the 11 have signed on to the lawsuit to strike down the ACA. West Virginia has the highest rate, with 36 percent of adults under age 65 living with preexisting conditions. Probably 1 in 3 of those would have a hard time buying insurance on the individual market of their state if Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, who joined the legal challenge against the ACA, were to prevail. There's one more argument for Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) to oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, who's proven hostile to the ACA, to the Supreme Court.

A reminder of who's at risk here: "Common conditions that led insurance companies to deny coverage included high blood pressure, cancer, obesity, diabetes and depression, among many others. Some people were denied for having acne, asthma or for being pregnant." That encompasses at least a quarter of all adults who are under age 65—more than 50 million Americans.

That's just one reason so many people—three-quarters of Americans—say keeping these protections is "very important," including majorities of Democratic, Republican and independent voters.

If Sens. Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski want their refusal to go along with Obamacare repeal and their repeated claims that they want to see these protections maintained to mean anything at all, to have any lasting effect, they've got to oppose this nomination.

 

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Joan McCarter is the Senior Political Writer for Daily Kos.