Congressman Kevin McCarthy has reaffirmed his support for maintaining the current requirement that health insurers provide coverage for pre-existing conditions, despite the Trump administration’s new push to scrap Obamacare altogether.
In a statement to The Californian, McCarthy's office seemed to confirm a report by Axios that the Bakersfield congressman and House minority leader had informed President Trump of his stance.
“First and foremost, Republicans support protecting every American with pre-existing conditions. No American should be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition,” McCarthy said Thursday in an email to The Californian.
Axios reported earlier this week that McCarthy told Trump he disagrees with the administration’s plan to seek court approval to toss the entire Affordable Care Act, whose provisions mandate coverage of pre-existing conditions. And in a press conference early Thursday, McCarthy mentioned that he and President Trump spoke about protecting individuals with preexisting conditions.
Earlier this week, the Trump administration told a federal appeals court it wants the entire Affordable Care Act struck down, an outcome that could leave millions uninsured and reignite what some see as a winning political issue for Democrats.
The administration, in a terse filing Monday with the court in New Orleans, said it agrees that former President Barack Obama's health care law should be declared unconstitutional after Congress repealed one part of it — the unpopular provision that calls for fines on people who remain uninsured.
Trump's position is at odds with previous statements by leading congressional Republicans who said they did not intend to repeal other parts of the law when they cut out the provision for fines, effective this year. It's also a departure from the administration's earlier stance in a lower court, where it had argued that only federal protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions and limits on premiums charged to older, sicker people should be struck down.