State Senators Call on Josh Hawley to Drop Pre-Existing Strikedown Lawsuit
KANSAS CITY – In advance of Attorney General Josh Hawley’s fundraiser with President Donald Trump, a coalition of healthcare, labor and social justice groups as well as elected officials called on Hawley to drop his lawsuit that would end protections for Missourians with pre-existing conditions.
In a letter sent to Hawley today, a group of Missouri State Senators wrote: “Make no mistake, if your lawsuit prevails, coverage for millions of Americans and protections for pre-existing conditions would disappear overnight. By being a party to this lawsuit, you are squarely on the side of removing protections for Americans – including 2.5 million Missourians - with pre-existing conditions. That is why, on behalf of all Missourians, we call on you to withdraw your support for this lawsuit.”
Protect Our Care Missouri also filed a Sunshine Request with Hawley’s office demanding any and all communications between the Trump administration and the Attorney General’s office regarding the lawsuit, which Trump’s Department of Justice recently took the extraordinary step of joining.
“If Attorney General Hawley is telling the truth that he supports protections with pre-existing conditions, then he will drop his lawsuit against those protections immediately,” said Tom Bastian, spokesman for Protect Our Care Missouri. “Missouri has among the largest shares of people with pre-existing conditions – and right now all of them are at risk of being discriminated against and denied care. This is unacceptable and needs to stop.”
“A year ago this week a bipartisan coalition stopped Congress from repealing the Affordable Care Act, but that was just the beginning,” said Paul Washington, an organizer with Missouri Jobs with Justice whose son has a pre-existing condition. “Now the Trump administration and its allies like Josh Hawley are attempting to dismantle the law through other means – and take away these important consumer protections along with it. We can’t let this happen. For my son and the millions of other Missourians with pre-existing conditions, we’re speaking out and fighting back.”
By arguing that the elimination of the coverage requirement under the Trump-GOP tax law warrants the elimination of other vital insurance reforms, like prohibiting discrimination of or charging more for those who have pre-existing conditions, Hawley’s lawsuit threatens to sabotage the health care system and access to reliable care for many.
Eliminating protections for people pre-existing conditions would impact 2.5 million Missourians (or 51 percent of Missourians) with pre-existing conditions – allowing health insurance companies to raise prices on patients, discriminate against patients, or deny coverage altogether.
Missouri is among the top 11 states with the highest percentage of people with declinable pre-existing conditions under pre-ACA practices.
Though Hawley claims that he thinks insurance companies should be required to cover people with pre-existing conditions, he has continued to pursue a lawsuit that would, if successful, eliminate those protections overnight.