Ernst: “It is important that we protect people with pre-existing conditions.”

Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) released the following statement today after a federal judge in Texas ruled Obamacare unconstitutional:

“Too many Iowa families and businesses have been hurt by the painful effects of Obamacare – from rising costs, to losing access to doctors, to hampering businesses’ ability to hire new employees.

“Health care reform should be focused on choice, not mandates. Yet, it is important that we protect people with pre-existing conditions, as we repeal and replace Obamacare.  To guarantee the availability of coverage in the individual or group market, including people with pre-existing conditions, I cosponsored legislation that would prohibit discrimination against beneficiaries based on health status.  I urge my colleagues to join me, and Sen. Tillis, in protecting people with pre-existing conditions by helping us ensure this bill becomes law.”

On December 14, 2018, a federal judge in Texas v. United States issued a declaratory judgement, stating that the Affordable Care Act (ACA or “Obamacare”) is unconstitutional.  His ruling is based on the elimination of the tax penalty for the Individual Mandate in the ACA that was included in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which goes into effect in January 2019.  The judge entered a declaratory judgement, not an injunction, which means that individuals are still able to purchase insurance through the health care exchange.

Senator Ernst works to ensure that patients with pre-existing conditions are not penalized in our health insurance system, and to ensure that Iowans, especially those in rural communities, continue to have access to the services they need.

Senator Ernst cosponsored Senator Thom Tillis’ (R-NC) “Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act,” legislation that guarantees the availability of coverage in the individual or group market, for all Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions, regardless of the outcome in Texas v. United States. The legislation prohibits discrimination against beneficiaries based on health status, including the prohibition against increased premiums for beneficiaries due to pre-existing conditions.