Say it with me: The ACA was all about pre-existing conditions. I wrote this over and over and over again in 2010 when people were complaining that it didn't go far enough, wasn't Medicare for all and so on.
In fact, my very first post here was about all the ten immediate benefits of the ACA. But there is no question -- NONE -- that the core of the ACA is the protections against pre-existing conditions discrimination. That was always the point.
There is now a lawsuit in Texas which, if it succeeds, will undo all of the ACA. Vox reports:
The case brought by several conservative states, led by Texas, argues that because Republicans in Congress repealed Obamacare’s individual mandate penalty in their 2017 tax bill, the mandate is now unconstitutional — and so is the rest of the law.
The lawsuit contends that without an actual monetary fine for not having health insurance, the mandate should be considered illegal under the rationale used by Chief Justice John Roberts to uphold the law in the famous 2012 lawsuit.
Roberts had said that Congress could not order people to buy insurance, but that it could impose a tax penalty on them for not having insurance, which allowed the mandate and the rest of the law to stand and take effect. Without the financial penalty, repealed in the tax bill, the Republican-led states argued the requirement to buy insurance cannot legally stand. Because the mandate is so crucial to Obamacare, they continued, the whole law should be found unconstitutional too.
Say it with me: The Republicans repealed the mandate and now Texas contends the entire law is unconstitutional because the mandate was repealed. Wow, talk about setting up the lawsuit.
This is a terrible look for Republicans with midterms looming, They set up this situation, and people with pre-existing conditions are now quite concerned that this was their backhanded way to repeal a law which, while imperfect, certainly helped more people to gain access to health care than otherwise would have happened.
But wait! Republicans have a solution! GOP Senators will draft some legislation which does absolutely nothing but at least gives them a chance to say they give a damn about pre-existing conditions, which they do not.
What Republicans in the Senate have done is this: They have introduced legislation which will force insurers to cover everyone. YOU get an insurance card, and YOU get an insurance card, Everyone gets an insurance card!
Except that insurance card gets you nothing at all, because insurers will not be required to cover claims for pre-existing conditions! You get to pay the insurer to not get coverage. YAY.
Keep it up, Republicans. Medicare for All will be reality sooner rather than later if you keep going this way. We'll start with a buy-in and we'll graduate to everyone!