U.S. Capitol

Rollback of Protections for Pre-Existing Conditions Is Dead

It’s been an ugly election season. Many issues divide our government sharply. But on one point, both Democrats and Republicans seem to agree now. They won’t roll back health insurance protections for people with pre-existing conditions. It’s a stroke of good news for people living with obesity.

Because it used to be that getting affordable health insurance could be tough for people living with obesity.

Republicans Come Full Circle

Yesterday, Republican leaders across the board said that the notion of repealing the Affordable Care Act is dead. “At this point, any changes are going to have to be incremental and cumulative in a divided government,” said Republican Congressman Tom Cole.

Why the big change after eight years of trying to repeal the ACA? It’s all about how Republicans lost their majority in the House of Representative. Mitch McConnell’s former chief of staff, Steven Law, explained the issue succinctly:

Republicans who didn’t pay attention to the implications of gutting Obamacare walked into the buzzsaw of preexisting conditions, which was a very effective issue for Democrats this year.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi was even more blunt:

Healthcare was on the ballot and healthcare won.

Obesity: One of the Biggest Pre-Existing Conditions

Roughly 100 million Americans have obesity. So theoretically, that’s how many people might have a tough time getting health insurance if protections went away. Recently, Avalere health consulting counted up how many people would suffer with a loss of protections. Heart disease, mental health, and obesity were at the top of the list.

Patient advocate and OAC Chair Shelly Vicari told us:

Before these protections, I once found myself unable to get health insurance. So yes, I’m glad we’re not going back.

Click here for more from the Washington Post. For more about the impact of protections for pre-existing conditions, click here.

U.S. Capitol, photograph © Mark Schneider / flickr

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November 8, 2018