June 29, 2020/Media

“Meaningless Promise”: Experts Continue to Slam Tillis’ Sham Bill on Pre-Existing Conditions

As the Trump administration pushes forward with a reckless lawsuit to end the Affordable Care Act and its vital protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and with vulnerable Republicans like Senator Tillis desperate to paper over their records of voting to “take away” protections for pre-existing conditions, more experts are exposing Senator Tillis’ sham health care bill for what it is — political cover.

In a fact check of a separate vulnerable Senator’s claims about protecting people with pre-existing conditions, two experts blasted Senator Tillis’ Protect Act as a “meaningless promise” and “a check-the-box effort.” As one expert put it: “No six-page bill is ever the way of achieving something.”

These experts join other analysts and media outlets who have already exposed the bill for being nothing more than a political stunt:

  • Larry Levitt, Kaiser Family Foundation: “Unlike the ACA, the new Republican pre-existing condition bill would not disallow lifetime or annual limits, cap patient out-of-pocket costs, require coverage of essential benefits, prohibit gender rating, or provide subsidies to make premiums more affordable.”
  • PolitiFact NC: “Experts agree that the Tillis proposal left loopholes insurance companies could use against people with pre-existing conditions.”
  • New York Times: “Patients with cancer, diabetes and H.I.V., for example, would have significantly less protection under Republican proposals [like Senator Tillis’ bill] than under the Affordable Care Act… The bills do not specify what benefits must be provided. They do not prohibit insurers from charging women more than men, as insurers often did before the Affordable Care Act. And they would not ban annual or lifetime limits on benefits.”
  • Los Angeles Times Editorial Board: Tillis’ bill is “really about protecting Senate Republicans from the stink caused by the Trump administration’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.”
  • The Hill: Tillis’ bill “does not address other core parts of the health law that could be struck down, such as its Medicaid expansion or financial assistance to help people afford coverage.”
  • 32 patient groups, including the American Heart Association, on an earlier version of Tillis’ bill: “The safeguards presented in this legislation fall far short of the patient protections encompassed in existing law… Should the ACA be struck down and this legislation implemented as a replacement, consumers with pre-existing conditions would face significant financial and coverage barriers. In short, for people with pre-existing conditions, the bill would provide access to coverage in name only…[the bill] falls far short of providing coverage and security to your constituents, including those who are or will face significant health care needs.”

“Experts continue to agree that Senator Tillis’ sham bill is a ‘meaningless promise’ and a ‘check-the-box effort’ that would leave North Carolinians more vulnerable than under current law,” NCDP spokesperson Robert Howard said. “The truth is, Senator Tillis isn’t serious about protecting people with pre-existing conditions, he’s just serious about protecting his reelection chances.”