Statement
For Immediate Release: 
May 9, 2019
Contact Info: 
Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in support of the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act. Below is a link to the video and excerpts from his remarks:
 
Click here to watch the full remarks.
 
“Mr. Speaker, over the past few years Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration have engaged in a dangerous campaign to repeal, undermine, and dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Now, depending upon how long they have been here, [House Republicans] may well have voted over sixty times to repeal the Affordable Care Act – all of it, pre-existing conditions and everything else. Through executive actions and lawsuits, they have sabotaged the law and fueled uncertainty in health insurance markets in the process. They have a suit right now, which wants to effectively repeal the entire Affordable Care Act, that the Attorney General of the United States and the President of the United States are supporting. So, spare me these crocodile tears about how this bill doesn't protect the pre-existing conditions. It does, but you don't care whether it does or not.”

“In the first days of the Congress, [House Democrats] took action to do what the Trump Administration’s Justice Department has refused to do: defend the law in court. We are taking that action. Instead, the Trump Administration is seeking it overturn the entire law, including the ban on denying coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.”

“Overturning the law means the end of popular provisions like a ban on forcing women to pay more for the same coverage as men or allowing those under age twenty six to be covered under their parents’ policy. The Administration's lawsuit would also bring back out-of-pocket cost force for preventive care and screenings. We want to encourage preventive care. Why? It saves money and saves lives. Most egregiously, it would kick twenty million Americans off health insurance coverage who were able to get covered because of the Affordable Care Act.”

“Last month, the House passed a resolution written by [Representative] Colin Allred, our new Member from Texas, condemning that lawsuit, which would repeal the Affordable Care Act, and reiterating the importance of protecting Americans’ access to quality, affordable care.”

“Yesterday, the House took another step by passing bipartisan bills, which [Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank] Pallone brought to the Floor, to help speed up the process of bringing the cost of generic drugs down and not prescription drug costs up.”

“And today, we have a bill to overturn the Trump Administration's guidance that sabotages the Affordable Care Act by allowing substandard plans. Are they cheaper? They are. But in the end, they are much more expensive because the coverage is minimal. The effects of such a rule is to drive up prices for those with pre-existing conditions. That wasn't the intent of the Affordable Care Act, which aimed to make coverage affordable for all Americans.”

“Next week, we'll continue focusing on health care by considering additional legislation to help Americans access quality, affordable coverage. I urge my colleagues on both sides – some of you said you want to protect pre-existing conditions... If you believed it, then you need to vote for this bill. You need to do something to protect those with pre-existing conditions. Today's vote is your opportunity to do so.”

“I want to thank Representative [Annie] Kuster who was on the Floor with us today for introducing this legislation, and again, Chairman Pallone for bringing it to the Floor. House Democrats will continue – as we pledged to do in this last campaign and as the people voted for us expecting us to do – to protect the Affordable Care Act, protect their ability to get insurance notwithstanding a pre-existing condition, protect their families, protect them, and make America better.”