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Dem lawmakers announce legislation to protect healthcare coverage of Ohioans with pre-existing conditions

Announcement comes amid uncertainty as court decision on Affordable Care Act looms
October 23, 2019
Democratic Newsroom

State Reps. Jeff Crossman (D- Parma) and Randi Clites (D-Ravenna) today joined House Democrats at a Statehouse press conference to announce legislation that would incorporate into Ohio law patient protections in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including coverage for those with pre-existing conditions. The legislation comes as a ruling in Texas v. U.S. by the Federal 5th Circuit Court of Appeals is pending—a decision that could threaten the healthcare coverage of millions of Ohioans with pre-existing conditions if the ACA is overturned.

“There is a very real possibility that the Federal Courts may strike down the ACA and the health care coverage that currently exists for patients suffering from pre-existing conditions. According to a recent report from the Kaiser Foundation, approximately 2 million Ohioans may lose their health care coverage if the ACA is ultimately overturned by the Courts,” said Rep. Crossman. “We need to incorporate these protections now to ensure that every Ohioan will have access to affordable quality healthcare regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately does with this lawsuit.”

Reps. Crossman and Clites’s proposal would keep the ACA’s popular patient protections even if the courts strike down the landmark legislation, including:

  • Coverage for those with pre-existing conditions,
  • Limits on insurance premiums,
  • Ban on annual and lifetime limits,
  • Coverage of essential health benefits, like preventative and maternal healthcare.

“The patient protections in the Affordable Care Act were life changing for not only my family, but for millions of Ohioans. It is our responsibility to ensure Ohioans can live with the security and stability of knowing that they will have access to affordable care when they’re sick,” said Rep. Clites. “I know first-hand the struggles families face when a loved one gets sick; you shouldn’t have to fight your insurance company to make sure you get the care you need when making tough medical decisions.”

Crossman and Clites’s announcement comes during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and just days before the 2020 Open Enrollment Period is set to begin. Open Enrollment on the Health Insurance Marketplace for 2020 runs from Friday, November 1, to Sunday, December 15, 2019.

After introduction, the bill will be referred to a committee in the Ohio House, where it will be eligible for hearings and public testimony.