LOGAN, W.Va. – West Virginia state Sen. Richard Ojeda said on Wednesday that he does not support the most recent lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act that would undo protections for more than 130 million Americans who have a pre-existing condition.
“The American people understand that without healthcare protections for pre-existing conditions, nearly every family will be impacted in some way or another. They want to be able to get affordable health insurance without getting denied for having asthma or high blood pressure,” Ojeda said.
He also spoke about the 230,000 non-elderly with pre-existing conditions in West Virginia’s third congressional district. “There are differences of opinion between me and my opponent, Carol Miller, but I hope she would not throw the thousands of people with pre-existing conditions in this congressional district to the wolves,” he said, mentioning Miller’s recent campaign stops with WV Attorney General Patrick Morrissey, who has signed on to the lawsuit.
Ojeda detailed differences between him and Miller, who recently told the Charleston Gazette-Mail that she could not give an answer on how to fix the healthcare market.
“Carol Miller refused to talk about her plans for healthcare with the Gazette and she is running around campaigning with Patrick Morrissey. One can only assume that the reason she is so quiet is because she intends to side with Morrissey and politics over the people of West Virginia,” said Ojeda.
About half of non-elderly Americans have one or more pre-existing health conditions, according to a recent brief by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
That number is reflected in West Virginia’s third congressional district where 51% of non-elderly residents have a pre-existing condition.
Nationally, the most common pre-existing conditions were high blood pressure, behavioral health disorders, high cholesterol, asthma and chronic lung disease, and osteoarthritis and other joint disorders.
While people with Medicaid or employer-based plans would remain covered regardless of medical history, the repeal of these protections means that the millions with pre-existing conditions would face higher rates or rejection if they needed individual market coverage.
“Medical history should not keep someone from having access to affordable healthcare,” said Ojeda.