Congress votes on bill proposing changes to pre-existing condition plans within Obamacare

JERSEY CITY, NJ — For Francine Delgado and her daughter Kiersten, further changes to or a possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) causes anxiety and uncertainty. Delgado pays for her own insurance working as a nurse through an agency. Medicaid helps with her daughter’s medical needs.

But last Thursday came a bill proposal for more changes.

The House of Representatives voted on a bill that seeks to nullify an amendment implemented last year by the administration to the ACA, commonly known as Obamacare. The new guidance granted waivers that would allow states to buy cheaper plans that do not have to cover pre-existing conditions.

“The administration’s giving insurers the green light to directly discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions. It’s giving the green light for these plans to charge people with pre-existing conditions more money, and it’s giving these plans the green light to refuse to cover any treatment that is related to someone’s pre-existing condition,” says Rep. Frank Pallone.

But Republicans argue that it was to give states more flexibility.

Fil-Am California congressman TJ Cox represents the 21st district Central Valley area. In California alone, he said, there are more than 16 million patients living with pre-existing conditions. Cox joined other Democrats and four Republicans to pass the bill.

“The Trump administration’s decision to eliminate protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions endangers the healthcare of millions of people in the central valley. Every American should have access to high-quality, affordable healthcare coverage,” said Cox. “I am proud to join my colleagues in passing this important legislation ending the administration’s dangerous guidance, and reinforcing the critical benefits Americans with pre-existing conditions rely on.”

The Republican-controlled Senate is not expected to vote on the bill. But the measure, many say, shows voters that Democrats are making good on their promise to improve the country’s health care laws.

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