President Donald Trump sought Wednesday evening to defuse Democrats’ concerns for Americans seeking medical insurance with pre-existing conditions, insisting that he wouldn’t support Republican senators’ latest Obamacare replacement proposal if that fast-growing segment of the population weren’t protected.
‘I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of pre-existing conditions. It does! A great Bill. Repeal & Replace,’ Trump tweeted.
‘Graham-Cassidy’ refers to a bill authored by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy, a piece of legislation wending its way toward a congressional showdown next week.
The bill is an attempt to devolve most of the decisions and rule-making about medical coverage to the states in the form of block grants that come with fewer strings attached than the Obamacare system placed on insurers.
That new flexibility includes the opportunity for governors to apply for federal government waivers opting out of many regulations that Obamacare put on the books.
President Trump insists that the Graham-Cassidy bill replacing Obamacare wouldn’t leave people with pre-existing medical conditions out in the cold
‘I would not sign Graham-Cassidy if it did not include coverage of pre-existing conditions. It does!’ Trump tweeted
Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel accused a Republican senator spearheading the latest effort to repeal Obamacare of ‘lying to my face’ about what the bill includes – and doesn’t
One thing that can be waived is the provision that prohibits insurers from treating those with pre-existing conditions differently from people who aren’t sick when they apply.
Wherever a waiver is granted, insurers would be permitted to charge more for policies whose subscribers have histories of cancer, asthma, chronic ear infections, clinical depression or any other ailment.
Cassidy argued Wednesday morning on CNN that his plan would take care of those consumers, however.
‘The protection is absolutely the same,’ he said. ‘There’s a specific provision that says that if a state applies for a waiver, it must ensure that those with pre-existing conditions have affordable and adequate coverage.
‘More people will have coverage, and we protect people with pre-existing conditions,’ Cassidy insisted.
Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy said Wednesday morning on CNN that Kimmel ‘does not understand’ the Obamacare replacement bill he panned Tuesday night
Cassidy insisted that his bill would cover sick children like Kimmel’s son, who was born in April with a congenital heart defect
The latest draft of the Graham-Cassidy bill requires that any waiver application must include a description of ‘how the state intends to maintain adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions.’
The bill does not define ‘adequate’ or ‘affordable,’ essentially leaving the secretary of Health and Human Services to decide on a case-by-case basis whether a state’s rules have cleared the bar.
Cassidy became enmeshed in a national news cycle after late night TV host Jimmy Kimmel complained that the legislation wouldn’t ‘pass the Jimmy Kimmel test’ – a Cassidy coinage that means Americans should not be denied care because they can’t afford it.
Graham told NBC that any claims the bill would abandon the poor are ‘garbage.’
‘I’m sorry he does not understand,’ Cassidy said of Kimmel on Wednesday morning.
Trump has been waiting for an Obamacare replacement bill to sign, and said Wednesday that he had thought one would be on his desk when he took office in January
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, the bill’s other Senate sponsor, said Kimmel regurgitated a ‘liberal talking point’ about the legislation without contacting Cassidy to hear him out
Kimmel made a plea on his program in May that no child should be denied medical care under an Obamacare replacement.
Cassidy was a guest on Kimmel’s show after the late-night comedian revealed that his newborn son underwent open-heart surgery due to a congenital defect just hours after he was born on April 21.
In an appeal to politicians not to do away with the Affordable Health Care Act, Kimmel said in May that his family’s ordeal made him aware of the need for free healthcare for children in low-income families.
‘If your baby is going to die it should’t matter how much money you make,’ he said then.
In an impassioned six-minute monologue on his ABC show, Kimmel tore into Senator Bill Cassidy (seen right appearing with Kimmel on his May 8 show) of Louisiana for promoting legislation that he claimed could result in millions of Americans losing their health insurance
During Kimmel’s May 1 broadcast, Cassidy told him that he would only back a health care measure that would enable a sick child ‘in the first year of life’ to be covered for cases like that which affected Billy Kimmel regardless of income level.
On Tuesday Kimmel claimed that ‘this guy, Bill Cassidy, just lied right to my face.’
‘I don’t know what happened,’ Kimmel said. ‘Not only did he fail the Jimmy Kimmel test, he failed the Bill Cassidy test.’
He went on to say how Cassidy had in the past promised coverage for all, no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions, lower premiums for middle-class families and no life-time caps.
‘And guess what? The new bill does none of those things,’ Kimmel said.
Kimmel revealed in April that his newborn son Billy underwent open-heart surgery due to a congenital defect just hours after he was born
Kimmel shared this photo of his son ‘helping’ him write his monologue on Tuesday
Wednesday morning on ‘Fox & Friends,’ Graham said Kimmel spoke out of turn.
Kimmel, he said, was ‘describing Obamacare’ when he complained about the lack of a guarantee of health care for everyone who needs it.
‘About 70 per cent of the counties in this country are down to one provider. Many of them have lost all choice. Obamacare is collapsing around us,’ he said.
‘I understand the emotional nature of having a sick child,’ he said of Kimmel, ‘and we’re all grateful your child is doing well.’
Kimmel said on Tuesday that the latest attempt to repeal Obamacare meets none of those criteria.
‘Before you post a nasty Facebook message saying I’m politicizing my son’s health problems, I want you to know: I am politicizing my son’s health problems because I have to,’ Kimmel said to applause from the live studio audience.
‘My family has health insurance we don’t have to worry about this, but other people do,’ he said.
‘So, you can shove your disgusting comments where your doctor won’t be giving you a prostate exam once they take your health care benefits away.’