New draft of BCRA fails to adequately protect people with pre-existing conditions

Ten Patient Advocacy Organizations Respond to Release of Revised Legislative Draft

July 13, 2017 Categories: Advocacy News

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 13, 2017 — Today, the Senate released a new draft of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), including an amendment that would allow insurance companies to offer plans not in compliance with critical patient protections in current law. Ten patient advocacy organizations, representing millions of Americans, issued the following statement today in response:

Under the amendment, insurance companies would be allowed to charge higher premiums to people based on their health status—in addition to opting out of other patient protections in current law, such as the guarantee of essential health benefits and the prohibition on annual and lifetime coverage caps. Separating healthy enrollees from those with pre-existing conditions will also lead to severe instability of the insurance market. This is unacceptable for our patients.

Even without this amendment, the revised underlying legislation would still be devastating for patients everywhere – an infant diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a woman who has experienced postpartum depression, or an adult who develops cancer. Millions of people who battle chronic diseases or disabilities, like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, would be negatively impacted by this legislation. Patients need a health care bill that does not jeopardize their access to necessary treatments and care.

We urge Congress to defeat the BCRA as written and any other bill that fails to protect patients’ access to affordable, accessible, and adequate health care coverage.

Signers:

American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

American Diabetes Association

American Heart Association

American Lung Association

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

March of Dimes

Muscular Dystrophy Association

National Health Council

National Organization for Rare Disorders

WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease

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For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173

Abbey Dively: abbey.dively@heart.org, (202) 785-7905

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org