If a Trump-administration backed lawsuit against ObamaCare succeeds, more than 15 million people could either lose their health coverage or face premium increases as a result of their pre-existing conditions, gender or age, according to a new report released by congressional Democrats on Wednesday.
The report, released by Democratic staff on the House Oversight Committee, serves as a counterpoint to claims by Republican claims heading into the midterms that they will protect people with pre-existing conditions.
The Trump administration is supporting a federal lawsuit brought by 20 GOP state attorneys general that seeks to overturn ObamaCare’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
In his letter informing Congress of his decision not to defend ObamaCare in court, Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsOvernight Hillicon Valley — Apple issues security update against spyware vulnerability Stanford professors ask DOJ to stop looking for Chinese spies at universities in US Overnight Energy & Environment — Democrats detail clean electricity program MORE said he was acting “with the approval of the President of the United States.” He did not offer any alternative protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.
The congressional report only examined people who purchase insurance through the individual market. It found that if the lawsuit is successful, just over 10 million people may lose federal protections against coverage denials or premium increases.
Of these individuals, just over 4.8 million have pre-existing health conditions severe enough that insurers may deny them coverage altogether, the report said. In addition, more than 9 million women could face coverage denials or premium increases because of their gender.
The report is part of Democrats' closing message on health care in the closing push ahead of the midterm elections. Republicans in tight races across the country have been scrambling to fend off Democratic attacks that they don’t support protecting people with pre-existing conditions.
Democrats have been pointing to the numerous GOP votes to repeal ObamaCare without a replacement, as well as the vote last year to replace the law with the American Health Care Act, which did not restrict insurers from raising premiums for people with pre-existing conditions.