Health Reform’s Pre-Existing Condition
Provision Unworkable Absent Individual Mandate
WASHINGTON, DC –In a friend-of-the-court or amicus brief filed Nov. 17 in the Florida health reform case, the National Senior Citizens Law Center and 11 other groups present “empirical evidence and analysis” that the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurers not exclude coverage of pre-existing medical conditions simply cannot work without a minimum coverage requirement (or individual mandate).
According to the brief filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, nearly half of older adults between the ages of 55 and 64 suffer from a pre-existing condition and could be denied insurance coverage absent the ACA’s pre-existing conditions provision. Also, the brief points out that “the weight of pre-existing condition exclusions [by insurers] falls particularly hard on women” since they are more likely than men to suffer chronic conditions.
The brief additionally shows that every single state that required insurers to cover pre-existing conditions without also enacting a minimum coverage requirement had “disastrous results.”
“An unbroken pattern shows that pre-existing condition provisions, absent a minimum coverage provision are a failed experiment,” the brief states.
The Republican attorneys general and governors who are challenging the ACA in the State of Florida v. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services allege that Congress lacks the authority under the Constitution to enact the minimum coverage provision.
The 12 organizations that joined in filing the brief are:
- The American Association of People with Disabilities
- The Arc of the United States
- Breast Cancer Action
- The Family Violence Prevention Fund
- Friends of Cancer Research
- The March of Dimes Foundation
- Mental Health America
- National Breast Cancer Coalition
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders
- The National Senior Citizens Law Center
- The National Women’s Health Network
- Ovarian Cancer National Alliance
Read the amicus brief.