Raleigh – Senator Tillis’ Protect Act has been universally panned as a political bill that is “really about protecting Senate Republicans” more than people with pre-existing conditions. Now, a new report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities sheds further light on why: the bill “falls far short of its purported goal” and would “do little to protect people with pre-existing conditions.”
Under Senator Tillis’ bill, insurers could:
- exclude coverage of essential health benefits — such as maternity coverage, mental health care, and substance use treatment;
- impose annual and lifetime limits on how much they will pay out;
- sell plans with no limit on how much enrollees could owe in out-of-pocket costs if they get sick;
- charge higher premiums based on non-health factors that can strongly correlate to health risk, including gender; and,
- charge older people (most of whom have pre-existing conditions) far more, compared to younger people, than the ACA allows.
Those protections, which Tillis’ bill left “on the cutting room floor,” have real world implications. Someone with cancer, for example, could run out of benefits if their insurer imposes an annual or lifetime limit, or their plan might not cover the prescription medicines that treat the cancer.
Senator Tillis, meanwhile, has yet to speak out against the Trump administration’s dangerous lawsuit. It’s clear he’s more concerned about protecting his reelection chances than protecting North Carolinians health care.
“Senator Tillis’ bill has been universally panned for good reason: it leaves North Carolinians vulnerable to the big insurance companies and does little for people with pre-existing conditions,” NCDP spokesman Robert Howard said. “Senator Tillis is more worried about his reelection chances than protecting North Carolinians’ health care, which is why North Carolina will hold him accountable next year.”