February 6, 2020 Press Release

GOP Plan Lets Insurers Price-Gouge Over Pre-Existing Conditions

Arizona Republicans Want To Let Insurance Companies Price-Gouge People With A Pre-Existing Condition

The GOP bill would not require insurance companies to cover Essential Health Benefits — which include maternity care, emergency room visits, and prescription drug coverage

PHOENIX — Rather than call on Attorney General Mark Brnovich to drop his lawsuit to end pre-existing condition coverage protections, Arizona Republicans are hoping to bail themselves out with a watered-down bill that does not fully secure existing coverage protections, and would only go into effect if Brnovich gets his desired outcome of eliminating them.

In fact, the GOP bill would not require insurance companies to cover Essential Health Benefits — like maternity, emergency room, and prescription drug coverage — nor would it prevent predatory insurance companies from unfairly jacking up prices on Arizonans who have a pre-existing health condition.

Tellingly, Republicans are being quite clear on that point: they are openly admitting that they don’t want to secure existing coverage protections — by “design.”

Two of the bill’s Republican co-sponsors — Sens. J.D. Mesnard and Vince Leachyesterday said that they do not intend for their bill to maintain existing, ACA coverage protections for Arizonans who have a pre-existing condition, according to the Arizona Mirror:

  • Mesnard said he is open to suggestions on the bill but added that his bill is not meant to become a new version of the federal health care law.”

  • “‘This is no ACA, and was not designed to be a replacement for the ACA,’ Sen. Vince Leach, R-Tucson, said, adding that he didn’t want the bill to become a ‘psuedo-ACA.'”

“Arizonans know that it’s Democrats who are fighting to secure pre-existing condition coverage protections and lower health care costs,” said Arizona Democratic Party Executive Director Herschel Fink. “This unserious GOP plan only underscores that Republicans can’t be trusted on this issue, which is why they’ve spent the past decade looking for opportunities to gut coverage protections and reward their corporate insurance company backers at the expense of Arizonans.”

In December 2017, U.S. Sen. McSally McSally paved the way for Brnovich’s lawsuit to end pre-existing condition coverage protections. McSally has stood by the suit ever since, claiming that it is not her “role” to stand up for Arizonans’ health care access.

Read more from Capitol Media Services and Arizona Mirror.