Roe balks at backing Trump administration move to eliminate mandated health insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions

Many Republican congressmen – including at least one member of the Tennessee delegation — are unhappy that the Trump administration has moved to eliminate a provision in the Obamacare law that assures health insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, reports Politico.

The administration wants a federal court to strike the protections, providing fresh fodder to Democrats who argue that the GOP cannot be trusted to protect Americans’ health insurance months ahead of a midterm election in which health care was already a top issue. It also threatens to shift attention away from the GOP‘s message on tax cuts, refocusing it on an Obamacare fight most Republicans wanted to put behind them.

The administration late Thursday asked a U.S. District Court in Texas to do something congressional Republicans weren’t willing to take on themselves during last year’s repeal effort: Strike the most popular part of Obamacare.

Few congressional Republicans rushed to defend the administration’s move Friday, instead emphasizing their support for preserving pre-existing condition protections.

“I’m not going to have to defend anything I don’t agree with — regardless of who says it,” said Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee when asked if he would defend the administration’s request on the campaign trail this fall. He added that rising premiums for Obamacare coverage will force lawmakers to address health care policy next year.

… Within hours of the news, Democrats pounced on the Senate Republicans up for reelection this fall. The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee blasted releases questioning whether those Republicans — such as North Dakota hopeful Rep. Kevin Cramer — back the Trump administration’s decision.

Note: Besides incumbents, DSCC also issued press releases on the matter that criticize Republican members of the U.S. House who are running for the Senate – examples including Reps. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and Lou Barletta of Pennsylvania. But not Tennessee’s U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, at least as of Saturday.

UPDATE Note: Press release from Sen. Lamar Alexander

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2018 — U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Chairman of the Senate’s health committee, today released the following statement on the Justice Department’s legal brief filed in a Texas lawsuit in federal court about the constitutionality of the pre-existing condition protections in the Affordable Care Act after Congress repealed the individual mandate penalty:

“There’s no way Congress is going to repeal protections for people with pre-existing conditions who want to buy health insurance. The Justice Department argument in the Texas case is as far-fetched as any I’ve ever heard. Congress specifically repealed the individual mandate penalty, but I didn’t hear a single senator say that they also thought they were repealing protections for people with pre-existing conditions. In fact, Republicans are seeking to expand insurance options for Americans with pre-existing conditions through a new Department of Labor rule that will make lower cost employer insurance with patient protections available to the self-employed and more employees of small businesses.”

23 Responses to Roe balks at backing Trump administration move to eliminate mandated health insurance coverage of pre-existing conditions

  • Stuart I. Anderson says:

    No surprise here folks. With his miserable 65% Heritage score Roe is the least distinguished member of Tennessee’s Republican House delegation who disappointed conservatives when he scotched rumors of his hoped for retirement and instead decided to burden this country with two more years of his “service.”

    Instead of whining or heading for the tall grass Republicans could always explain that “insurance” for pre-existing conditions is not “insurance” at all – IT’S WELFARE and should be treated as such. This is indeed a place that calls for a welfare program efficiently run by the state governments to assure healthcare for all while recipients who receive the care pay according to their income. It’s absurd to include coverage of pre-existing conditions that make people uninsurable in an insurance program which causes premiums to rise astronomically and thwarts the discipline of the free market in insurance. Place the poor and uninsurable on a state welfare program and there is no reason that free market healthcare can’t outperform government healthcare in the same way that the free market outperforms government monopolies in furnishing goods and services in every other endeavor.

    Of course, in order to advocate free market solutions it takes Republican officeholders with such things as knowledge, conviction, communication skills and intellectual fortitude. Election season is here, the Republican Primary is a few months away. Conservatives need to replace the Phil Roe’s with real free-market advocates wherever we can.

  • Eddie White says:

    I am a Republican who believes in the free market. But I also believe it it is the right thing to do to require coverage of pre-existing conditions. This is not a winning issue for Republicans. Obamacare had some wrong ideas, but this was not one of them. We as Republicans need to embrace ways to make access to healthcare available to as many people as possible.

  • Donna Locke says:

    Lower the actual costs of health care. This is the only way out of this mess. Some of us remember when hospitalization costs did not break a working-class family without insurance — or with it, as now.

    I survived Stage 3 cancer by taking control of my own health and avoiding the expensive oncologists, chemo, continual radiation scans, etc. Yeah, the surgeries would have broken us now without our insurance we’re paying an increasingly huge amount for, but years ago I had no insurance and was hospitalized, even had a C-section once without insurance, and the costs, which we paid the entirety of, did not break my family. Wouldn’t be true today for the middle class.

    • Donna Locke says:

      I don’t advise others to follow the same path I did with cancer. I had several good reasons for my choices. Research and then follow your own judgment and intuition.

    • Stuart I. Anderson says:

      So long as we fund the health care of people with pre-existing conditions that make them uninsurable through mandated “insurance” the burden of the costs of this healthcare will fall on other purchasers of insurance. So long as we make health care professionals and institutions “eat” the costs of people who cannot or will not pay these costs will be ultimately paid by purchasers of healthcare who do pay when these costs are shifted to these paying customers. These are simply foolish policies that contribute to the high cost of medical insurance and care in this country.

      The determination that the uninsurable and those who cannot pay receive healthcare is a societal determination beyond the ordinary functioning of the free market for healthcare. Thus all of these costs should be paid for through society’s tax system rather than through the insurance and/or healthcare market place. In addition, the federal government should reduce regulation mandating certain services be covered by insurance as much as possible. Once all of this is done the competition between insurance companies and between healthcare providers and the negotiations between these forces should reduce the cost of health insurance as well as the cost of medical services as much as possible.

      • Bob Fischer says:

        You are a sick human being. Every day babies are born with pre-existing conditions. Babies you would mandate a society seek the birth of, and then turn their back on so they would suffer a slow painful death. There is something wrong with you at the basic level of the human condition. You have no soul.

        Healthcare is a human right. We , as the richest nation in the history of mankind have a responsibility to ensure basic needs of our citizens. There should be no question that water, food, healthcare and education should be available for all citizens regardless of their station in life. Freedom is the right to not accept the help, not the right to deny those in need.

        • James White says:

          Health care is not a right. The only way out is to get government out of health care and let the free market work.

          • Donna Locke says:

            I agree with James that getting the government out of the health care market is necessary. It is a major or the major means to the result we need: lowering the actual costs of health care. We will have to keep Medicare and a limited government safety net. But Medicare and Medicaid should be allowed to negotiate the price of drugs.

            We, well, not me, but we in general have expanded the welfare state to the unsustainable road we’re on. I advocate weaning people off this. Set a time limit. Then we will see the mess we are truly in, of course.

            Currently, there is a government subsidy under every rock. For everyone but the middle class, who are propping up everyone else.

        • Stuart I. Anderson says:

          Brings back memories of the old “Saturday Night Live” with the iconic Gilda Radnor when she played the character Emily Litela who would read an impassioned comment on a news item read by Jane Curtin. The problem was that Emily was terribly hard of hearing which would lead to hysterically funny malapropisms the most memorable of which in my memory was when Jane read a news item about endangered species which gave rise to an Emily impassioned rant about endangered FECES.

          Emily was hard of hearing. What do you call it when someone reads words but doesn’t understand the thought that the words convey even though he understands each individual word? I wonder, but obviously the effect is the same.

        • Steve L. says:

          Freedom is not your right, Bob, to reach into my pocket and steal MY money to pay for YOUR sense of good and fairness. Spend all YOUR money first, Bob, ALL OF IT, until you are living homeless on the street then ask ME to donate. All the money in the WORLD will not end the pain and suffering in just the state of Tennessee. Literally. Bankrupting me only adds my family to the list of the uninsured. I tire of smug moralists with no answers except to take my money (read money to mean my food, clothing, education, medicine, safety, etc) and then preaching to me on how I should feel, how I should spend my money, how I should live. Unbelievable. See YOU at the polls, folks.

          • Bob Fischer says:

            The first mandate of Congress is to tax for the public good. If you don’t like it, nobody’s forcing you to stay.

  • Bob Fischer says:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.”

  • Bob Fischer says:

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

  • Bob Fischer says:

    “Section. 8.

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow Money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

    To establish Post Offices and post Roads;

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

    To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offences against the Law of Nations;

    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings;—And

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

    • James White says:

      Bob, your other problem is that you see the word(s) Health Care, in the above. It is not there so I refer you to the 10th Amendment.

      • Bob Fischer says:

        For a guy that can’t read, you sure have a lot of opinions on what the document says. I refer you to article one where congress is charged with laying and collecting taxes to provide for the general welfare for the United States.

        You should post some court cases to back up your opinion.

        • James White says:

          The court doesn’t decide what the constitution says. Provide for the general welfare for the United States. Read the federalist papers on that… Health care is not the welfare of the United States.

          • James White says:

            also “To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, ” does not list health in the FOREGOING Powers. The Foregoing powers is how to provide …..

      • Bob Fischer says:

        Actually, the tenth amendment is what Haslam used as an excuse to not sign up for subsidies under the ACA. He said he had a better, cheaper plan. As it stands, health insurance is regulated at the state level. How’d that state managed plan work out?

  • Bob Fischer says:

    Just exactly what are your little minds proposing this actually means?

  • Kathy Raper says:

    Bob seems to be the only person commenting with a soul, a good conscience, and morals. Why is it that only Democrats seem to care about the poor, down-trodden individuals?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *