Tallahassee, FL – Florida State Senator José Javier Rodríguez (D-Miami) calls out Republican leadership in the Florida Legislature for advancing measures that fail to protect Floridians with pre-existing conditions. The three Republican Senate bills (paired with a single bill in the House, SB 997 by Gregory) are as follows:
• SB 322 (Simpson, R) states that if the Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”) is repealed or invalidated, that health insurers must offer one plan for persons with pre-existing conditions. Offering a single plan is tantamount to relegating all persons with pre-existing conditions to single uninsurable risk pool. In the face of amendments offered by Sen. Rodríguez and Sen. Thurston (D-Ft. Lauderdale) today intended to offer real protections to Floridians with pre-existing conditions rather than sham protections, the Republican majority postponed its vote on SB 322.
• SB 418 (Simpson, R) relaxes state requirements on health insurance plans is anticipation of the Trump Administration granting waivers that weaken requirements in PPACA that all plans must offer essential health benefits. The bill would also relegate all persons with pre-existing conditions to single uninsurable risk pool and Sen. Rodríguez thus opposed the bill during a committee vote today.
• SB 1422 (Gruters, R) allows short-term health insurance policies to exclude pre-existing conditions. Sen. Rodríguez opposes the measure but has not yet had an opportunity to vote on the measure.
In response Sen. Rodríguez said “when it comes to Floridians with pre-existing conditions, Florida law should be rising up to meet the standard of the Affordable Care Act, not trying to join the Trump Administration in seeking ways to undercut it.” This advocacy comes at a time when President Trump and Florida’s Attorney General continue their support for a federal lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act. “Republicans in Florida are advancing a healthcare agenda that lacks real protections for Floridians worried about losing their access to care,” said Rodríguez, “and even hopes to take that away if protections against denial for pre-existing conditions were under threat again.”
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