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Dem lawmakers reintroduce legislation to protect healthcare coverage for Ohioans with pre-existing conditions

February 16, 2021
Democrat Newsroom

COLUMBUS— State Reps. Jeff Crossman (D- Parma) and Mary Lightbody (D-Westerville) today re-filed the Pre-Existing Condition Protection Act, which seeks to enshrine popular patient protections found in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, into Ohio law.  This effort became necessary due to persistent efforts by Republicans to repeal the ACA through federal legislation and ongoing litigation. 

During the 133rd General Assembly, Reps. Crossman and Clites (D-Ravenna) introduced HB 390, which would have enshrined these important protections for people with pre-existing conditions into state law.  The bill received multiple hearings but ultimately did not pass out of committee.  Rep. Crossman and Rep. Lightbody, who has personal experience dealing with acquiring healthcare for family members with pre-existing conditions, intend to continue working to push this General Assembly to pass the series of protections offered for people with pre-existing conditions.

“We can prevent the loss of these important protections here in Ohio and ensure Ohioans will be able to secure affordable health care coverage for themselves and their families with pre-existing conditions,” said Rep. Crossman. “Our Republican colleagues should join us in making healthcare a top priority for Ohioans. Otherwise, thousands of Ohioans stand to lose their healthcare if the ACA is ultimately abolished through litigation or other federal action.”

“Access to affordable health care is crucial for Ohioans.  By incorporating these patient protections included in the Affordable Care Act into Ohio law, we are taking a crucial step to ensure Ohioans do not lose healthcare during the critical times in their lives,” said Rep. Lightbody. “Many of us have pre-existing conditions that we were born with and only learned about later in life. Healthcare coverage will allow us to remain healthy and contribute to others through our work and volunteer activities.”

Reps. Lightbody and Crossman chose to re-file this legislation the same week as the re-opening of the Affordable Care Act enrollment period to highlight the open enrollment period from February 15 to May 15.  President Biden’s administration re-opened the enrollment period to ensure that all Americans have access to affordable healthcare coverage during the ongoing pandemic. President Trump’s administration had refused to expand or re-open the enrollment period.

The Pre-Existing Protection Act would:

Protect coverage for those with pre-existing conditions;
Limit health insurance premium hikes;
Ban annual and lifetime limits;
Protect coverage of essential health benefits, like preventative, maternal and emergency care.
 

The Pre-Existing Condition Protection Act awaits a bill number and assignment to a  House Committee.