Poll: Pre-existing condition protections a top health issue

Poll: Pre-existing condition protections a top health issue
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The majority of people in a new poll say it’s important to them that ObamaCare’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions aren’t endangered.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s latest tracking poll, majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independents surveyed said it is “very important” to them that ObamaCare’s provisions protecting those with pre-existing conditions remain law.

More broadly, 65 percent of those polled said a candidate’s support for continued protections for people with pre-existing health conditions is either the “single most important factor” or “very important” in their vote.

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A candidate’s support for pre-existing condition protections was the top issue among Democratic and independent voters, while it was the second-highest issue among Republicans.

The top issue among Republican voters is repealing ObamaCare.

The results are significant, as many Republicans in Congress have been trying to distance themselves from a Trump administration argument that ObamaCare’s protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions should be struck down.

“Everybody I know in the Senate — everybody — is in favor of maintaining coverage for pre-existing conditions. There is no difference in opinion about that whatsoever," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGrassley: Dems 'withheld information' on new Kavanaugh allegation Kavanaugh accuser set to testify Thursday McConnell told Trump criticism of Kavanaugh accuser isn't helpful: report MORE (R-Ky.) said recently when asked about the administration’s position.

The administration is siding with a challenge to the law brought by a coalition of GOP-led states.

Twenty Republican-led states sued the Trump administration in February, arguing ObamaCare was unconstitutional because Congress eliminated the tax penalty associated with the law's individual mandate.

While the states asked the judge to overturn ObamaCare in its entirety, the administration said only two provisions protecting people with pre-existing conditions needed to be overturned.

These provisions prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage based on a person’s medical history (known as guaranteed issue), and prohibit insurance companies from charging those with pre-existing conditions more for coverage (known as community rating).

According to the poll, nine in 10 Democrats, 77 percent of independents and 58 percent of Republicans said it is “very important” that insurance companies cannot deny coverage because of a person’s medical history.

Similarly, a majority of all respondents — 85 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of independents and 58 percent of Republicans — said it is “very important” that health insurance companies cannot charge sick people more.

The survey of 1,492 adults was conducted via random telephone poll and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.