Back to work protecting your care

January 31, 2019

Finally, after the last six weeks were dominated by the longest shutdown in American history, the entire country is back to work.  In Congress, we are refocusing on taking progressive steps forward that will make a difference. We are also making sure that in key areas, we don’t go backwards.

Health care is by far the most important issue for voters, and they sent a clear message in November: stop trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  One of the most important pillars of the ACA is protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions from discrimination. Yet, Republicans in Congress are trying to eliminate these protections – both in the courts and through the Trump administration.

We are not going to stand for this. The majority of people believe that everyone should have access to quality health care, no matter their zip code or the income they earn.  And they shouldn’t be denied health insurance because they have a pre-existing condition.

133 million people living with health conditions like asthma, diabetes, cancer, mental illness or substance abuse—and millions of pregnant women, shouldn’t be forced back to the days of uncertainty where insurance companies:​

  • had policies that would limit the amount of coverage available – including for premature babies and cancer patients – denying health care from people who need it most;
  • could exploit the sick, and raise premiums, or deny care for those most in need.

We can’t let this happen. This week, my colleagues and I on the Ways and Means Committee held a hearing with health care professionals on protecting your care even if you have a preexisting condition.

It's a travesty that Americans pay almost twice as much as the rest of the world for a system that provides excellent care for few, mediocre care for others, and fails the rest. And let’s not forget the high cost of prescription drugs.  It’s outrageous.

America needs universal health care coverage and a system that works for all and I will keep fighting until we have it.


Earl Blumenauer

Member of Congress