Rep. Slotkin gives floor speech defending protections for people with pre-existing conditions
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (MI-08) today voted to keep protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and spoke out passionately on the House floor in support of the bill, sharing a personal story about her mother’s struggle to afford healthcare due to her pre-existing condition.
The Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act (HR 986) passed in the House 227-191. The bill would safeguard provisions in the Affordable Care Act that prohibit denying coverage to patients with pre-existing conditions or charging patients with pre-existing conditions higher rates.
“In my district, protecting people with pre-existing conditions is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it is what people of all political backgrounds are demanding of us as their representatives. That is our mission, that is our mandate, and to ignore the interests of our constituents at this point is dereliction of duty, plain and simple,” Slotkin said on the House floor. “This issue is particularly personal to me because of my mom. My mom passed away in 2011 from ovarian cancer, and when she was diagnosed she did not have healthcare.”
“She had breast cancer as a young mom, and because of that pre-existing condition she could not afford health insurance, so she went five-and-a-half years without -- no check up, no gynecological exam. We finally got her health insurance, it was $1,000 a month and a $10,000 deductible, her highest bill,” Slotin continued.
“In 2009 without us knowing, she let it lapse, and two months later she walked into an ER and was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer,” Slotkin said. “I’m sure my colleagues know what it’s like to have a loved one get a terminal diagnosis. Your life as you know it explodes.”
“No one should be gouged because they happen to be born with a pre-existing condition. We have evolved as a country, as a nation to see that, and I urge my colleagues to evolve as well,” Slotkin concluded.
The Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act would reverse steps the Trump Administration has taken to chip away at those protections by allowing states to waive protections for people with pre-existing conditions and promote junk insurance plans that either refuse coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, or charge them more.
Often these junk plans also don’t cover essential health benefits like maternity and newborn care, mental health, emergency services, prescription drugs, hospitalization.
Today’s vote comes one week after the Administration submitted a formal request to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act, which would end health insurance for 21 million Americans, including tens of thousands in Michigan’s 8th district, and bring us back to a time when people could be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions.