ACA

Azar Says Federal Law Had Preexisting Conditions Covered Before ACA. Not So Much.

One of the most popular features of the Affordable Care Act is its guarantee of insurance coverage — at no greater cost — for people with preexisting health conditions.

Thus, even as the Trump administration argues before the Supreme Court that the entire Affordable Care Act should be declared invalid, the president and his administration officials maintain that regardless of what happens to the ACA, they will protect people who have had health problems in the past.

Speaking to a “virtual health summit” sponsored by the political newspaper The Hill, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar answered a question about the case, Texas v. Azar, by pointing out “it’s in statute already in HIPAA that preexisting conditions are covered,” implying that if the ACA were declared unconstitutional, those protections would remain in place for everyone.

Umm … not so much.

When we checked with HHS for more information about

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KHN’s ‘What The Health?’: SCOTUS Decides An ACA Case. No, Not THAT Case.

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on SoundCloud.

The Supreme Court this week rejected the efforts of a Republican-controlled Congress in 2014 to cut off funding to insurance companies under a provision of the Affordable Care Act. In an 8-1 decision, the high court ruled that insurers must be paid the roughly $12 billion they are owed under the law’s “risk corridor” program.

Meanwhile, the efforts to address the COVID-19 health and economic impact are becoming more partisan, with Democrats pushing to provide more funding to states and localities and Republicans urging liability waivers for employers whose workers get sick after being summoned back to the workplace.

This week’s panelists are Julie Rovner of Kaiser Health News, Caitlin Owens of Axios and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call.

Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast:

  • The Supreme Court’s 8-1 ruling in the ACA “risk corridor”
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