WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call as a new study by the Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 53.9 million Americans and just under 2 million Ohioans could lose their health insurance if the Trump administration is successful in its attempt to overturn the Affordable Care Act. According to the report, twenty-nine percent of non-elderly adults in Ohio, or nearly 2 million Ohioans, are at risk of losing their insurance due to preexisting conditions if a Trump administration lawsuit is successful.
“This is yet another Trump administration betrayal of hardworking Ohioans,” said Brown. “President Trump and his administration are pushing a case before the courts that would not only increase costs, but also lead our country back to a time when a person with cancer could be denied health coverage altogether or face premiums so high they had to choose between treatments and paying for groceries. We will not stand for this. Together, we will fight back.”
Brown was joined on the call by Julie Boswell, a northeast Ohioan with a pre-existing condition who spoke about the importance of protecting Ohioans’ health insurance and pushing back against efforts to overturn the law.
“Many families have been touched by cancer, diabetes, or heart disease,” said Boswell. “Many people need treatment or monitoring to continue to live healthy lives, and to allow them to continue working and providing for their families. It is shortsighted to allow health insurance companies to stop insuring people with pre-existing conditions. That will lead to unnecessary suffering for many, many people.”
Among the many deniable pre-existing conditions are most forms of cancer, mental health disorders, pregnancy, sleep apnea and arthritis.
More than 200,000 Ohioans were enrolled in ACA marketplace insurance in 2019. More than 600,000 Ohioans have healthcare coverage because of Medicaid expansion. If GOP Attorneys General and Governors are successful in overturning the ACA, the number of uninsured Americans would increase by 65 percent, 5.5 million young adults would lose the option to stay on their parents’ healthcare plans, and hospitals would risk closure.
Earlier this month, Brown joined 39 Senators in urging the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to protect individuals with preexisting conditions by limiting the proliferation of “junk plans” – short-term insurance plans that can exclude coverage for essential benefits and provide no protections for Americans with preexisting conditions.
In 2017, Brown joined Ohio patients and patient advocates in cities around Ohio to underscore the importance of the Affordable Care Act and recently introduced legislation to make improvements to the Affordable Care Act by adding a public option to the individual marketplaces.