December 19, 2019 Press Releases

Health Care Ruling Underscores McSally-GOP Threat To Pre-Existing Condition Coverage Protections

Health Care Ruling Underscores Martha McSally-GOP Threat To Pre-Existing Condition Coverage Protections

Washington Republicans and Attorney General Mark Brnovich have been fighting to gut vital coverage protections and drive up health care costs for millions of Arizonans 

PHOENIX — Issuing a decision that starkly underscores Martha McSally‘s failure to stand up for Arizonans’ health care access, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals today ruled to send back down Washington Republicans and Attorney General Mark Brnovich‘s lawsuit to end coverage protections for 2.8 million Arizonans who have a pre-existing condition.

  • In 2017, McSally voted to provide Republicans with their grounds for challenging the coverage protections as unconstitutional.
  • Over the past year, McSally has repeatedly refused to stand up for Arizonans’ health care access and oppose the lawsuit, instead saying that it’s not her “role” to do so. She has a long record of voting to drive up premiums and gut coverage protections — all to enrich her corporate health insurance industry and big pharma backers.
  • In October, McSally voted to protect a GOP expansion of “junk” insurance plans that are opposed by the AARP because they let insurance companies “deny coverage to people with preexisting conditions” and “impose an age tax, charging older Americans much higher premiums.”

“Martha McSally’s continued refusal to oppose this dangerous lawsuit has been yet another instance of her siding with her corporate health care industry backers instead of representing Arizonans,” said Arizona Democratic Party spokesperson Brad Bainum. “Moving forward, every Arizonan now knows that McSally fully stands with her fellow Republicans as they continue their efforts to tear down pre-existing condition coverage protections.”

The lawsuit, which Republicans are sure to continue, would bring about a disaster for Arizona families, with devastating implications for millions of Arizonans’ health care access. Among other things, the lawsuit:

  • Eliminates pre-existing condition coverage protections: Insurance companies will again be able to jack up prices on or deny coverage to people with a pre-existing condition — putting coverage at risk for 2.8 million Arizonans who have a pre-existing condition;
  • Allows insurance companies charge women more than men: Insurance companies will once again be able to discriminate against women and charge them more than men;
  • Makes it easier for insurance companies to send families into medical bankruptcy: Insurance companies will again be able to impose annual and lifetime coverage limits — caps on how much the insurer will cover before individuals are required to pay out-of-pocket — resulting in dramatically increased out-of-pocket costs for millions of Americans;
  • Threatens Arizona’s AHCCCS expansion: Coverage would be jeopardized for the 400,000 individuals who gained health insurance under Arizona’s AHCCCS expansion — a direct attack on the 3 in 8 Arizona kids and 3 in 5 nursing home residents who are covered under AHCCCS;
  • Ends the provision that lets people under 26 stay on their parents’ coverage: Younger Arizonans will have to seek out their own health insurance coverage, no longer able to stay on their parents’ health insurance plan until the age of 26; and
  •  Reopens the Medicare “donut hole” and increases costs for seniors: Medicare beneficiaries will “have to pay more for preventive care,” while the Medicare Part D coverage gap would be reopened, meaning that seniors will “have to pay more toward their prescription drugs.”