Manchin, Collins urge DOJ action on preconditions


WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Susan Collins (R-ME) have urged the Department of Justice and Attorney General Barr to reconsider the Administration’s refusal to defend Americans with pre-existing conditions. This case is currently being appealed in the Fifth Circuit, and, if the ruling is upheld, hundreds of thousands of West Virginians and Mainers, and millions of Americans, will be at risk of losing health insurance. According to Manchin’s office, if this decision stands, families across the country will see health care costs rise; young adults under the age of 26 will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ health plan; rural hospitals will be at risk of closing; important pathways for new medicines would be left uncertain, further escalating the cost of drugs; and thousands of jobs will be lost. 

The letter sent by the Senators to the Attorney General said in part, “We are writing to express our grave concern over the Department of Justice’s recent decision to not only continue its refusal to defend protections for people with pre-existing conditions in the ongoing litigation challenging the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, but also to argue in favor of repealing the entire ACA. Overturning the ACA will put millions of Americans and hundreds of thousands of West Virginians and Mainers at risk of losing their health insurance, including thousands of our constituents who gained health insurance through the Medicaid expansion, and thousands more who gained insurance through the ACA exchanges. With so much at stake, we urge you and the Administration to reconsider this position and to defend the consumer protections for seniors, young adults, women, children, and working families.”