Congressman Cleaver Calls on Missouri AG Hawley to Drop Lawsuit Harming Pre-existing Conditions Protections

Nov 2, 2018
Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, II and Congressman Lacy Clay (MO-01) sent a letter to Missouri Attorney, General Josh Hawley, urging him to end his support for the Trump Administration lawsuit to end protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

The letter can be found here.

Prior to the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, health insurance companies could openly discriminate against consumers based on pre-existing conditions by charging more or denying coverage altogether. The ACA addressed this issue by including critical protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions, explicitly banning insurance companies from charging higher premiums or refusing coverage.

In September of 2017, the Trump Administration and 20 Attorneys General—including the Attorney General of Missouri Josh Hawley—initiated a lawsuit that would nullify these protections. Recently, however, President Trump, Attorney General Hawley, and other prominent Republicans have vocalized their support for the very same protections.

“I find it very interesting that many of the same individuals who have signed on to a lawsuit intended to nullify protections for pre-existing conditions are simultaneously touting their support for the exact protections they are working to end. I’m simply requesting the Attorney General follow his own example. If you believe health insurance companies should not be allowed to discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions, the best way to show it is by fighting this lawsuit, not by walking it down the aisle.”

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 133 million Americans under the age of 65 have a pre-existing health condition. Conservative estimates show that more than one million Missourians could be affected if protections for pre-existing conditions were extinguished, most notably, the 467,500 individuals with non-group insurance coverage.

“Seventy-five percent of Americans support protections for pre-existing conditions. This is an issue that will affect more than a million Missourians and tens of thousands of constituents in my congressional district. These people deserve to know exactly where their Attorney General stands on such a critical issue.”

Emanuel Cleaver, II is the U.S. Representative for Missouri’s Fifth Congressional District, which includes Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Raytown, Grandview, Sugar Creek, Blue Springs, Grain Valley, Oak Grove, North Kansas City, Gladstone, Claycomo, and all of Ray, Lafayette, and Saline Counties. He is a member of the exclusive House Financial Services Committee, the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, and also a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. For more information, please contact Heather Frierson at 816-842-4545 or Heather.Frierson@mail.house.gov A high-resolution photo of Congressman Cleaver is available here.

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