Warner, Kaine join effort to defend protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions

Mark Warner, Tim Kaine on continuing resolutionU.S. Sens. Mark Warner and Tim Kaine (both D-VA) joined their Senate Democratic colleagues in introducing a Senate resolution that would authorize Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in the Texas vs. United States lawsuit, on behalf of the U.S. Senate, to defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including 1.3 million Virginians.

After Congressional Republicans zeroed out the health insurance coverage requirement in their partisan tax legislation, the State of Texas and a coalition of 19 other states legally challenged the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, including the consumer protections for people with pre-existing conditions in a new suit: Texas vs. United States. Instead of defending the law and these vital health care protections, the Trump Administration’s Department of Justice announced in June that, in keeping with their continued, politically-motivated efforts to sabotage the American health care system to the detriment of middle-class families across the country, they are abandoning their responsibility to defend the laws of our country, siding with the 20 states challenging our health care law.

“The Trump Administration continues to do everything it can to sabotage the Affordable Care Act and jack up healthcare prices. And now, in blatant disregard for the rule of law, the Trump Administration has decided it is going to pick and choose which of this country’s laws it feels like defending – a list that apparently doesn’t include protections against health care discrimination,” said Sen. Warner. “The Administration’s decision not to defend pre-existing conditions means we could soon return to the days when insurance companies could deny coverage or charge people more just for living with diabetes or being a cancer survivor. It’s now up to Congress to step in to protect the 1.3 million Virginians with a pre-existing condition.”

“By supporting this lawsuit, the Trump Administration is threatening health care for 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions. Today, we’re joining our Democratic colleagues to demand a vote that would authorize the Senate to weigh in and defend the protections for people with pre-existing conditions, women, and older Americans that Republicans are trying to take away,” said Sen. Kaine.

Sens. Warner and Kaine—along with their Senate Democratic colleagues—urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to sign on to the resolution to show that they truly support vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The resolution highlights the Trump Administration’s systematic dismantling of the American health care system, which has created a cloud of uncertainty for insurers all across the country, thereby increasing costs on hard-working American families. Given the urgent need to offset these actions, ensure pre-existing condition protections are here to stay, and lower health care costs for American families, the Democrats also urged Senate Majority Leader McConnell to immediately schedule a vote on the new resolution.

The text of the resolution can be found here.

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