Along with more than 25 other patient and consumer groups, the American Heart Association has published a statement in opposition of the latest Senate healthcare bill aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act.

S. 3388, the Ensuring Coverage for Patients With Pre-Existing Conditions Act, was introduced on August 23, 2018. Although the American Heart Association and other organizations acknowledge the potential damage that will result from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit claiming that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional (Texas v. US), they also note that the newly proposed legislation comes with its own concerns.

“We appreciate that this legislation would prohibit the denial of coverage and rating based on health status,” they wrote. “However, it would not ban pre-existing condition exclusions and would remove rating restrictions based on age, gender, tobacco use, or occupation. This means that many individuals could still face higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.”

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They continued, “Our groups remain committed to working with Congress to ensure that any legislation promising to protect people with pre-existing conditions meet the principles set by our organizations that guarantee that health care is affordable, adequate, and accessible.”

The bill is sponsored by Senator Thom Tillis, a North Carolina Republican.

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Senate health care bill would not sufficiently protect patients with pre-existing conditions [news release]. Washington, DC: American Heart Association. Published September 4, 2018. Accessed September 5, 2018.