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West Virginia Democrat legislators address pre-existing condition legislation

Press Release from the office of the W.Va. Legislative Minority Caucus:

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Today, Democratic representatives from the state Senate and House of Delegates stood together to address legislation affecting pre-existing conditions.

Senator Richard Lindsey

Legislators from both parties have introduced bills that protect pre-existing condition coverage, but they do it in very different ways. The majority party’s bill establishes a risk-sharing program, which would pay health insurance providers for providing service to people expected to have high healthcare costs. “High-risk pools” like this often have very high premiums, steep deductibles, pre-existing condition waiting periods of up to a year, lifetime benefit limits, and waiting lists. Unlike the majority party’s bill, Democrat-sponsored bills ensure that in case of an Affordable Care Act repeal, all insurance companies would still be required to cover people with pre-existing conditions, period.

 “Recent reports from the state Attorney General, Patrick Morrisey, have intentionally misrepresented legislation that he’s authored,” said Senator Richard Lindsay (D-Kanawha). “The Attorney General is using the good name of our state to try to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which ensures coverage for pre-existing conditions, while at the same time introducing legislation what will make healthcare coverage five times more expensive for people with those conditions.”

Delegate Shawn Fluharty

“Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is a con artist. He is purposely tricking the public into thinking he supports protections for pre-existing conditions while at the same time literally going to court to strip away all protections,” said Delegate Shawn Fluharty (D-Ohio). “He’s not putting West Virginia families first, he’s only putting his political aspirations first and West Virginians see through his charade.”  

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 37%, or 382,000, of non-elderly West Virginians have pre-existing conditions. That includes 90,000 children, according to West Virginia University. The Affordable Care Act was the first national law to mandate insurance companies cover this vulnerable population. Yet our state Attorney General has signed West Virginia’s name to a lawsuit seeking to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats urged the Governor to take executive action. Fluharty said, “It’s plain and simple: if he really supports everyday people, Governor Justice should instruct the Attorney General to pull out of the lawsuit.”

“It’s awful funny that the majority party didn’t care about protecting pre-conditions until an election year,” said Lindsay. “This is another example of politicians saying one thing and doing another.”

See the response issued later Monday from Attorney General Morrisey here:

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