Ten patient advocacy organizations, representing millions of Americans, issued the following statement today in response:
Under the amendment, insurance companies would be allowed to charge higher premiums to people based on their health status -- in addition to opting out of other patient protections in current law, such as the guarantee of essential health benefits and the prohibition on annual and lifetime coverage caps. Separating healthy enrollees from those with pre-existing conditions will also lead to severe instability of the insurance market. This is unacceptable for our patients.
Even without this amendment, the revised underlying legislation would still be devastating for patients everywhere -- an infant diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a woman who has experienced postpartum depression, or an adult who develops cancer. Millions of people who battle chronic diseases or disabilities, like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes, would be negatively impacted by this legislation. Patients need a health care bill that does not jeopardize their access to necessary treatments and care. We urge Congress to defeat the BCRA as written and any other bill that fails to protect patients' access to affordable, accessible, and adequate health care coverage.
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Diabetes Association
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
March of Dimes
Muscular Dystrophy Association
National Health Council
National Organization for Rare Disorders
WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease