Politics

Rep. Justin Amash Claims Pre-existing Conditions Were Covered Before Obamacare

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht
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Rep. Justin Amash, R-Michigan, told CNN’s Candy Crowley on Sunday that pre-existing conditions were covered by health insurers before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was passed.

Obamacare banned health insurance companies from denying a person coverage due to a pre-existing condition. A pre-existing condition exclusion would not pay for medical treatment for a condition like cancer, diabetes, heart disease or asthma in the event that the person was diagnosed with that condition before they bought the policy. Obamacare ended this industry practice for children and will also apply it to adults by 2014.

On State of the Union, Amash didn’t recognize that before Obamacare 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions were unable to obtain health insurance.

“What’s the alternative to those who now find that their preexisting conditions don’t matter, they can still get insurance?” Crowley asked. “What do you say to the 25-year-old that still needs to stay on his parents? What happens to them if Obamacare goes away?”

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“Preexisting conditions can be covered. In fact they are covered by some insurance policies,” Amash responded.

“Some,” said Crowley.

Amash suggested that, although the government is not providing a federal health insurance program, Obamacare is still diminishing the ability for insurance companies to compete.

“But you have to have a competitive — you have to have a competitive marketplace that allows those products to be offered. The way we have insurance now, you’re required to provide a particular insurance product. It creates a monopoly in the system and prices go up. If you want to increase access to health care, you have to have competition,” he said.

Amash said "the number one concern of Americans remains Obamacare."

He and 60 other Republicans voted to repeal Obamacare on 40 separate occasions, although the GOP hasn’t put forth an alternative measure to get health insurance for those with pre-existing condition, according to ThinkProgress. Otherwise, up to 50 percent of Americans would not qualify for health insurance coverage.

 

Sources: ThinkProgress, Politico