Californians remain concerned about the rising cost of healthcare and the decreasing number of options for health insurance. Many Southern California families are struggling with premium increases, which rose by double digits in 2017. In 2018, approximately 45 percent of counties across the country could have one or no insurer to choose from on the healthcare exchanges.
On May 5, 2017, the House passed, with my support, the American Health Care Act to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The bill, while far from perfect, is a step toward lowering costs and expanding choices. Contrary to some reports, the legislation is clear that under no circumstances can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition. And health status cannot affect the cost of insurance, unless a state asks for and receives a waiver. Even then, so long as an individual has been continuously covered, they cannot be charged more. For those in waiver states who have not been continuously covered, funding was added to help them get affordable coverage. Bottom line, there are many levels of protection for those with pre-existing conditions.
This discussion has moved on to the Senate, where multiple repeal proposal have failed to receive the required 51 votes. I greatly appreciate continued input from local residents as we look to establish a healthcare system in the U.S. that lowers costs, protects those with pre-existing conditions, and expands choices.