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Truth Alert: lawsuit jeopardizing preexisting conditions

In an ABC 17 News Truth Alert, we are taking a closer look at a television commercial paid for by Majority Forward, which is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization that claims to support voter registration and turnout efforts. The group is associated with a super PAC, Senate Majority PAC, which is aimed at putting Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate.

The commercial features a woman who says, “I am a cancer survivor. So, I can’t afford to lose my health care coverage. That’s why it angers me that Attorney General Josh Hawley filed a lawsuit to allow insurance companies to deny care for Missourians with pre-existing conditions. People like me, denied care for cancer, high blood pressure and other diseases. Josh Hawley sides with the insurance companies, not the rest of us…”

Josh Hawley joined a coalition of 20 states and officials in filing a motion seeking an injunction against the Affordable Care Act.

The argument is that Congress rendered Obamacare unconstitutional when it struck down the tax penalty in the ACA’s individual mandate.

In citing a Supreme Court decision saying Congress lacks the authority to force citizens to buy health insurance, the lawsuit wants the entire Affordable Care Act tossed.

U.S. Senate candidate Hawley says he supports protecting pre-existing conditions. His argument is once Obamacare is done away with, the Senate should take action to rewrite health care laws.

But, before those news laws are written or passed, if Obamacare is eliminated entirely the consumer protections it provided will also be eliminated. Insurance companies would legally be able to deny coverage based on a person’s current or pre-existing conditions.

Consumer protections under Medicare and Medicaid would still be covered as part of those social insurance programs, or until Congress passes new laws to redefine what is and is not a medical necessity.

A Morning Consult-Politico poll, taken just last week, finds 83 percent of Democrats and 80 percent of Republicans say insurers should be barred from denying coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

Josh Hawley is the Republican candidate facing incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill for a seat in the United States Senate in November.

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