RALEIGH (June 15, 2018) – Last night the NC House defeated House Bill 933 – which would have jeopardized protections for people with pre-existing conditions and radically changed our health insurance landscape – by a bipartisan vote of 53 to 38.
We appreciate that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle recognized that this was too radical a change and that such a bill needed more deliberation and careful understanding. Throughout the evening legislators expressed support for closing the coverage gap as well as concern that the plan was too rushed and needed careful study. They described their own personal experiences and connections with individuals with pre-existing conditions.
Yet we cannot ignore that the House vote took place only after the Senate refused to adopt an amendment to the bill that would have protected North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions from discrimination by insurers. On a party line vote, the state Senate refused to adopt language that read, “No plan offered or sponsored under this section may raise premiums, limit benefits, or deny enrollment based on pre-existing conditions, including depression, diabetes, hypertension, cancer survivorship, or any other current or former health condition.”
That lawmakers refused this amendment cannot be divorced from the context of national attacks on our health care, as just last week the Trump administration argued in court that the Affordable Care Act’s pre-existing condition protections are unconstitutional.
We hope lawmakers will work together to preserve protections for North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions, while finding better solutions for our health care affordability woes, including covering uninsured farmers, realtors, and others in the coverage gap by expanding Medicaid.