Bill takes away protections for preexisting conditions, essential health benefits

(BISMARCK, N.D.)  House Republicans voted today to put hundreds of thousands of North Dakotans – and tens of millions of Americans – at risk of losing their health insurance. The bill, which was cobbled together last minute and was not made available to the public prior to the vote, takes away protections for preexisting conditions – like cancer, asthma, diabetes, or women who are pregnant. Cramer recently stated that individuals with preexisting conditions are trying to ‘game’ and ‘abuse’ the healthcare system.

After the vote, North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party Executive Director Robert Haider released the following statement:

“Simply put, Kevin Cramer sold out North Dakotans today. This bill is even worse than the initial proposal. Cramer placed partisan politics above the more than 300,000 North Dakotans with preexisting conditions, the more than 20,000 North Dakotans on Medicaid, and the tens of thousands of North Dakotans who could lose their coverage and critical benefits under this bill. And it would make older Americans pay five times more for care.
 
“Cramer put at risk every North Dakotan who receives health care. Across North Dakota, seniors, individuals and children with preexisting conditions, working families, and the most vulnerable are worse off because of Kevin Cramer’s vote. North Dakotans deserve better. Kevin Cramer should be ashamed of himself.”
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Background

–   Over 300,000 non-elderly North Dakotans have preexisting conditions and now risk losing protections under the Republican bill.

   The bill was opposed by dozens of patient and health provider groups, including AARP, the American Medical Association, the American Diabetes Association, March of Dimes, and more.

  The Republican plan cuts services for children with disabilities.

–   Individuals who receive health insurance through their employers – about half the country – will be at risk of losing protections that cap out-of-pocket costs for certain illnesses.

–   Up to 7 million veterans will lose access to health care under the Republican plan.

  The bill allows states to seek waivers that would permit insurance providers to take away Essential Health Benefits from coverage plans.