White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short is defending the proposed Graham-Cassidy bill — – by countering criticism that the bill does not provide coverage for those with pre-existing conditions.

“In fact, the Obamacare legislation required coverage of pre-existing conditions. This legislation does not change that. So pre-existing conditions continue to be covered,” Short said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”
While he assured that the proposed legislation “guarantees” that pre-existing conditions will continue to be covered, experts say that people with health problems or with pre-existing medical conditions could be charged more if the state they live in obtains a waiver from current requirements that forbid insurers from charging higher premiums based on health status.” (A)

“One of the biggest issues in the repeal/replace debate has been coverage for pre-existing conditions, genetic risks and chronic illness. Before the Affordable Care Act, insurers could deny coverage to people with diseases like diabetes or charge them much higher premiums. The ACA requires insurers to cover pre-existing conditions without charging more. The GOP bills passed or proposed would give states the power to waive that requirement. People with disabilities or chronic diseases, people who have had cancer, and parents of children born with health problems like late-night host Jimmy Kimmel say that could make insurance unaffordable.” (B)

“The GOP’s latest attempt at an Obamacare repeal bill seemed to take more fatal blows Sunday, with Republican Sens. Susan Collins and Ted Cruz announcing they will likely not vote for the legislation.
Cruz’s call is especially surprising since he voted for earlier bills attempting to repeal and replace Obamacare, and even authored an amendment to help usher one of the failed bills through the Senate…
Cruz said the bill — which calls for Obamacare to be dismantled in favor of state-based plans — doesn’t match his desire to see a more competitive health care market…
Collins, from Maine, said her “no” vote is all but official… “It’s difficult for me to envision a scenario where I would end up voting for this bill,” she told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
“We already have a problem under the Affordable Care act with the cost of premiums and deductibles, and finally, I’m very concerned about the erosion of protections for people with pre-existing conditions.” (C)

“Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., directly addressed fellow Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky over his opposition to the latest GOP bill aiming to repeal and replace Obamacare, saying the new legislation would “save a lot of money.”
“Rand Paul objects to the taxes, but when you look at the bill, Rand, we save a lot of money over time for Medicaid,” Graham said in an interview with ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz on “This Week” Sunday. “We’ve put a cap on Obamacare growth to make it more sustainable, more affordable, more flexible.”” (D)

“Short meanwhile on Sunday continued to claim that under Graham-Cassidy, people with pre-existing conditions would be “protected,” although in the current version of the bill, that is not as straightforward.
The requirements would be loosened compared to what is currently law under the Affordable Care Act.
Under Graham-Cassidy’s language, a state must show how it “intends to maintain access to adequate and affordable health insurance coverage for individuals with pre-existing conditions” if it requests a waiver. However, it offers no additional guidance or details on how that would be binding, leaving major questions for coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. (E)”

(A) WH’s Marc Short claims Graham-Cassidy guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/whs-marc-short-claims-graham-cassidy-guarantees-coverage-for-pre-existing-conditions/
(B) Biggest Flash Points In The Graham-Cassidy Health Care Bill, by NANCY SHUTE, http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/09/24/552891450/biggest-flash-points-in-the-graham-cassidy-health-care-bill
(C) Sens. Ted Cruz and Susan Collins announce opposition to Graham-Cassidy health care bill, by Jason Silverstein, http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ted-cruz-susan-collins-announce-opposition-gop-health-bill-article-1.3517860
(D) GOP health care act sponsor to a Republican opponent: The bill will ‘save a lot of money’, by NICKI ZINK, http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/gop-health-care-act-sponsor-republican-opponent-bill/story?id=50047278
(E) White House ‘Planning’ on Health Care Vote This Week, by KAILANI KOENIG, https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/white-house-planning-health-care-vote-week-n804271

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