#CostsOfRepeal: Congressman Paulsen Would Deny Coverage for 2,318,738 Minnesotans With Preexisting Conditions

Because of Congressman Erik Paulsen’s obsession with repealing the Affordable Care Act, 129 million Americans – including 2,318,738 people in Minnesota – could be denied coverage simply because they have a preexisting condition, sending us back to the days when insurance companies were free to deny care to people with everything from cancer to diabetes to asthma.

Data from the Department of Health and Human Services reveals that since 2010, up to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions, including 298,134 in Minnesota, can no longer be denied care because of their health, and beginning this January, that protection will extend to all adults – unless Congressman Paulsen gets his way, sending us back to the old system where insurance companies were free to deny and drop coverage simply for having asthma as a child, or even getting strep throat.

“Living in a constant state of dread whether your insurance company might drop you because of a preexisting condition is simply wrong, but that’s exactly what Congressman Paulsen would do to 2,318,738 Minnesotans. For all those families, that means Congressman Paulsen’s repeal plan would rob them of their peace of mind and security and instead could drive them into bankruptcy because of their health conditions,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “While Democrats work to improve the law to make it work better for the American people, Congressman Paulsen is forging recklessly ahead with his repeal obsession that leaves the 129 million Americans out in the cold simply because they have preexisting conditions like asthma or cancer.”

BACKGROUND

Repeal Could Deny Coverage to 129 Million Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions, Including 17 Million Children. “As many as 129 million non-elderly Americans have a pre-existing health condition that puts them at risk of being denied affordable coverage without health care overhaul, according to a government report. The estimate represents nearly half of Americans younger than 65, and 86 percent of people 55 to 64 […] The act already prohibits insurers from limiting lifetime coverage to a fixed dollar amount or denying coverage to a child younger than 19 because of a pre-existing condition. As many as 17 million children younger than 18 have a pre-existing condition, according to the report.” [ABC News, 1/18/11]

House Republicans Have Voted 46 Times to Repeal or Dismantle the Affordable Care Act. “Republican elected officials have seen the Affordable Care Act as essentially unfixable—that’s why House Republicans voted 46 times to repeal or delay the implementation of the law, instead of working with the White House over the past three years to identify and solve problems within it of the sort that tend to accumulate in any such massive piece of legislation.” [The Atlantic, 11/27/13]