Today, as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in Republicans' Texas v. United Sates lawsuit, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) slammed the Trump Administration's latest efforts to strike down protections for people with pre-existing conditions as well as every benefit and protection provided by the Affordable Care Act.
"Let me be clear: Republicans are going after Alabamians' health care without any plan to replace it. If the Trump Administration has its way in court, nearly two million Alabamians with pre-existing conditions will lose critical protections, insurance companies will be able to charge women more than men and health insurance costs will go up for all Alabamians, even those with employer-based coverage," Sewell said. "Meanwhile, House Democrats have already passed legislation to strengthen protections for people with pre-existing conditions and lower health costs and prescription drug prices for all Americans. I will continue to fight to expand access to affordable, quality health insurance!"
Sewell took part in a press conference Tuesday and highlighted Dan and Debi Garrett, a couple from Oxford, Alabama, who have insurance through the ACA and could lose coverage if the Republican-led lawsuit is successful in court. Before the ACA, Debi was denied insurance because her blindness was classified as a pre-existing condition.
If the Trump Administration is successful in eliminating the ACA, the health and financial wellbeing of Alabama families will be at risk:
1,959,800 Alabamians with pre-existing conditions will lose their protections, including 264,900 Alabama children, 998,000 Alabama women, and 451,200 Alabamians between ages 55 and 64. If the Trump Administration lawsuit is successful, insurance companies would be able to charge people more because of a pre-existing condition. An analysis by the Center for American Progress found that insurers could charge up to $4,270 more for asthma, $17,060 more for pregnancy, $26,180 more for rheumatoid arthritis and $140,510 more for metastatic cancer.
2,140,837 Alabamians could once again have to pay for preventive care, including flu shots, cancer screenings, contraception and mammograms.
143,177 Alabamians in the marketplace could be forced to pay more for health insurance, including those with employer-based coverage.
83,177 Alabama seniors could have to pay more for their prescription drugs. From 2010 to 2016, "More than 11.8 million Medicare beneficiaries have received discounts over $26.8 billion on prescription drugs -- an average of $2,272 per beneficiary," according to a January 2017 CMS report as a result of the closure of Medicare's "donut hole" provision. In Alabama, 83,177 seniors each saved an average of $1,169.