Fitzpatrick Protects Pre-Existing Condition Safeguards

Announces his opposition to federal lawsuit threatening ACA

September 27, 2018

Washington, DC—Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-08) today signed onto the Maintaining Protections for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act of 2018 [H.R.6898], which would maintain protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.

Currently, twenty states are filing a lawsuit in federal court arguing that the entirety of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) is unconstitutional. If these suits succeed, there is a risk that patients with pre-existing conditions would be stripped of certain protections afforded by the ACA.

“While the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, we need to keep what works, like protections for pre-existing conditions, and fix what doesn’t, like high premiums, drug costs, and lack of competition. The ACA took strides to protect patients with pre-existing conditions by ensuring people will not be denied coverage due to their health status,” said Fitzpatrick. “I strongly oppose the latest attempt to dismantle the ACA in federal court, which threatens these patient protection provisions. The Maintaining Protections for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act protects Americans with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage. I will continue to fight for affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans.”

The Maintaining Protections for Patients with Pre-existing Conditions Act would duplicate statutes for pre-existing conditions protections in federal law by amending the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) so they remain operative in the event the ACA is struck down in court.

Specifically, H.R. 6898 prohibits coverage denial, risk-rating, and exclusions or limitations of coverage to patients based on pre-existing conditions or any other health factor, including health status, medical condition, claims experience, medical history, genetic information, and disability. This bill maintains current law allowances for premium rate variations based on age, tobacco use, and area of residence.

Additionally, Rep. Fitzpatrick also co-sponsored H.Res.1066, which expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that Congress should support protections in law for individuals with pre-existing conditions and, in the case of a court ruling that would hinder such protections, act swiftly to reinstate such protections.

Rep. Fitzpatrick voted against several attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, citing at the time, “any changes to our current system must ensure both the continuity of coverage and the continuity of patient protection provisions.”

In February 2017, Rep. Fitzpatrick cosponsored the Pre-existing Conditions Protection Act of 2017 [H.R. 1121], which would protect those with pre-existing conditions from being discriminated upon by health insurers.