McCaskill presses Trump official on lawsuit against pre-existing condition protections

McCaskill presses Trump official on lawsuit against pre-existing condition protections
© Greg Nash

Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskill'Kavanaugh' chants erupt at Trump rally in Missouri The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — Kavanaugh, accuser say they’re prepared to testify Drug companies will love Trump's plan to get rid of drug rebates — the consumers will hate it MORE (D-Mo.) pressed a top Trump administration official on Tuesday about a lawsuit challenging ObamaCare’s pre-existing condition protections.

McCaskill, who is facing a tough reelection race this year, used a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing to press the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) about the lawsuit.

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“There does not seem to be any sense of urgency about the fact that this lawsuit is moving its way through the courts and could blow up all of the protections,” McCaskill said in questioning CMS Administrator Seema Verma.

“I just want you to walk us down what happens if the administration is successful in their lawsuit,” she told Verma.

Verma responded that she supports protections for people with pre-existing conditions and that if the lawsuit backed by the administration against ObamaCare is successful she would work with Congress to try to reinstate them.

“I agree with you that those individuals should have the appropriate protections in place, and if the law changes in any way, shape or form around that, we would work with Congress to address that issue to make sure that they had the appropriate protections in place,” Verma said.

McCaskill, though, asked Verma why the administration was supporting the lawsuit in the first place and questioned whether Verma weighed in with the Department of Justice to try to stop the argument against pre-existing condition protections.

“I can’t speak to a pending lawsuit,” Verma replied.

McCaskill has joined other red-state Democrats who have made the Trump administration–backed lawsuit a centerpiece of their campaigns.

A federal judge in Texas has set arguments in the case for Sept. 5. Twenty GOP-led states are bringing the lawsuit, arguing ObamaCare is unconstitutional.

McCaskill’s Republican opponent, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, is one of the 20 state attorneys general bringing the lawsuit, which McCaskill has highlighted in her campaign.