Rep. Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, introduced a new bill to give protections for patients with pre-existing conditions on Wednesday.
Knight’s bill, the H.R. 6898, the Maintaining Protections for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act of 2018, duplicates statutes for pre-existing conditions protections already in place so they remain intact if the Affordable Care Act is struck down in court.
A pre-existing condition is a medical condition that started before a person’s health benefits went into effect.
Knight said the rationale for the bill comes from 20 states filing a lawsuit in federal court arguing that the ACA is unconstitutional. If the suits succeed, patients with pre-existing conditions would be stripped of certain protections afforded by the ACA.
“We’ve believed in helping these sorts of patients for a while,” he said. “It was the right bill that could come in and make a clear statement about what we believe about pre-existing conditions. We wanted to make sure this is bulletproof, so if the ACA goes away, then these pre-existing conditions protections don’t. This is continuing to push what we believe in.”
Knight said his office had recently began working on the legislation in the last two months after he toured the district learning about the issue.
The act amends the existing Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act so it remains operative in the event the ACA is struck down in court.