ICYMI: Cleveland.com: Nearly 2 Million Ohioans Could Lose Insurance Because of Preexisting Conditions

New Reports Show if Trump Administration Lawsuit is Successful, Millions of Americans with Preexisting Conditions could Lose Insurance; Brown: This is the Latest Trump Administration Betrayal of Hardworking Ohioans

CLEVELAND, OH – In Case You Missed It, last week Cleveland.com reported that twenty-nine percent of non-elderly adults in Ohio are at risk of losing their insurance due to preexisting conditions if a Trump administration lawsuit is successful. The article cited a recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation, which 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. Among the many deniable preexisting conditions are most forms of cancer, mental health disorders, pregnancy, sleep apnea and arthritis. Read the article here.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) will continue speaking out against these ongoing efforts to sabotage the ACA and throw millions of Americans off their health insurance.

“This is the latest 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.”

In August, the Los Angeles Times published a column analyzing the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) latest brief in the controversial Texas lawsuit against the ACA. The article discusses the fact that the Trump administration is seeking to upend even our system of employer-based coverage, which is the primary source of insurance for approximately 158 million people and could put millions in jeopardy. Brown has continued to fight these Trump administration efforts, and believes we should be strengthening our health care system, not dismantling it and stripping millions of often life-saving coverage.

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.

The Cleveland.com article can be read here and below:

Cleveland.com: Nearly 2 million Ohioans could lose insurance because of pre-existing conditions

By Laura Hancock

Oct 04, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Twenty-nine percent of non-elderly adult Ohioans are at risk of losing their insurance because of pre-existing conditions – if a federal appeals court strikes down the Affordable Care Act, according to new research.

The Kaiser Family Foundation released estimates Friday showing 53.9 million Americans and just under 2 million Ohioans had a host of deniable conditions – from most forms of cancer in the past decade to mental health disorders, pregnancy, sleep apnea and arthritis. The foundation obtained information from the U.S. Census Bureau’s National Health Interview Survey.

Most adults with pre-existing conditions get insurance through work or Medicaid. The vulnerable population that could lose insurance would be those purchasing individual or family policies due to self-employment, divorce, aging off their parents’ policies, early retirement, job loss or getting a job and losing Medicaid, the foundation said.

In July, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments in Texas v. U.S., the latest lawsuit challenging Obamacare, including pre-existing conditions. Its decision is pending and will undoubtedly be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Eighteen states, including Texas, are suing over the ACA’s individual mandate, saying it’s unconstitutional and as a result, the entire law should be overturned. In the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by Congress in 2017, the financial penalty for not having insurance was lowered to zero. The Trump administration agrees that the mandate is unconstitutional but doesn’t want the whole law thrown out -- just the pre-existing conditions protections and the individual mandate.

The trial court ruled that since Congress took the individual mandate penalty to zero, it ceases to be a constitutional exercise of its taxing power. It ruled the entire law must be nixed because when the ACA was enacted in 2010, the individual mandate was called “essential.”

Many legal scholars -- even conservative ones who oppose the ACA -- consider the trial court’s reasoning unsound and even “bizarre."

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Montana Attorney General Tom Fox, both Republicans, together filed an amicus brief, arguing that the appellate court should reverse the lower court’s decision to strike the law: “The court’s decision, if affirmed, will deprive millions of non-elderly Ohioans and Montanans of coverage for pre-existing conditions. It will also negatively affect countless others who organized their affairs in reliance on the Act’s many unrelated provisions.”

Loren Anthes of the Cleveland-based health care think tank the Center for Community Solutions said he’s seen estimates showing nationwide, over 100 million people would lose insurance or coverage under Medicaid expansion. Others would be charged higher insurance premiums, such as women and elderly people.

Medicaid makes up 4 percent of the economy, he said. If Medicaid expansion – a key component of the ACA -- went away, “you’re talking about a sudden contraction of the economy by 1%,” he said.

“One percent doesn’t seem like a lot, but if you suck $5 billion out of the state’s second largest industry, anyone who works in health care – medical equipment providers, lab techs, people who drive people to appointments – it’s all disrupted.”

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