(EDITOR’S NOTE, 10/12/18, 11:17 PM ET: A hyperlink to the roll call vote for Sen. Baldwin’s resolution on pre-existing conditions was added in the first paragraph of this article.)

In a 50-50 vote, Republicans defeated a Democratic measure to stop the return of denying health coverage for pre-existing conditions. The measure was part of a Democratic attempt to bring healthcare to the forefront of the campaign for control of Congress in November.

Under the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare) insurers were no longer allowed to deny coverage or charge higher premiums to people who had a medical condition at the time of seeking insurance. This included everything from pregnancy to just being transgender among as many as 400 other conditions. President Trump reversed course on this, however.

This was possible because the short-term health plans Trump has been pushing don’t need to adhere to the standards of normal plans governed by the Affordable Care Act.

“The Trump administration is rewriting the rules on guaranteed health care protections that millions of Americans depend on,” stated Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin), who is up for reelection in November. “These junk insurance plans can deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions and don’t have to provide essential health services like prescription drugs, emergency room visits and maternity care.”

It was Baldwin who filed the petition to reconsider Trump’s weakening of pre-existing condition protections.

After a year of failed attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans began employing a new strategy — corrode it until it no longer had any meaning. This “collapse and replace” strategy has been working fairly well for opponents of Obamacare.

After Republicans repealed the individual mandate, a key element of what made Obamacare affordable, people saw premiums spike by as much as 30 percent. The Trump Administration also plans scheduled maintenance of the Obamacare enrollment system during the upcoming enrollment period.

“I’ve been saying for the last year and a half that the best thing we can do politically speaking is let Obamacare explode,” Trump said.

Even as Trump boasts about his destruction of the “core” of Obamacare, however, his administration is trying to paint him as the Affordable Care Act’s most stalwart protector with mixed accuracy.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) called out that attitude before Wednesday’s vote.

“All of my colleagues should vote for this, but I suspect my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have a different idea because ever since taking control of congress and the presidency, Republicans have deliberately, relentlessly undermined Americans’ health care,” he said.


Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.


    1. You have the wrong name: It should be Trumpdon’tcare! He’s one of the most selfish, self-centered people in politics. There are over 400 pre-existing conditions.

      1. He is a sick sick depraved excuse for a human. He is inhumane and mentally ill. Healthcare is a human right. He may be the sickest most horrific person I’ve ever heard of in my lifetime. 🙁

    2. well, hopefully, this should seal the fate of any republican running for re-election!!!!! If anyone votes for them, they deserve exactly what they get!!!

  1. I’ve worked w/ppl who had these ‘junk insurance’ policies – and that’s what they are: JUNK. Some policies have a max pay-out that is far less than one year’s premiums; perhaps only 1 hosp in the State will accept their 30% payout. NO pre-existing conditions – including pregnancy. No ER care; limited hospitalization…….. there are literally endless versions of these JUNK policies that Trump is pushing. This is ‘Trump Don’tcare.’

    1. Those rat bastards! As long as they have good health insurance, screw the American people. Well we voted you into office, and we can vote you out

      1. Amen! I wish more people would read and learn instead of listening to 60 second sound bites!!! Congress has health insurance for life after one term, that we the people pay for, yet they’ve done everything to make the Aforeable Care Act obsol! It sickens me!

  2. What bill is this article referring to? I checked the Senate floor activity and there was no mention of any bill dealing with healthcare either today or yesterday.

    1. It was back in January of 2017 that their plan was to cut services to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, one of the cuts they plan on voting “no” on was the pre-existing condition feature in the ACA. Kavanaugh wrote a n opinion stating that he was for excluding the pre-existing condition clause on any medical insurance coverage. Paul Ryan for years, has said that Medicare needs to be “trimmed” and Social Security should be held in a private insurance fund.

    1. So is the state of Iowa. Governor Kim Reynolds brags about biggest tax cut for middle class . My tax break is $50. The high incomes have substantial tax breaks in the thousands of dollars. I could go on and on but I won’t.

  3. End of life does not need o be determined by little republicans, why is it okay for them veting birth life executive decisions?

    1. For the same reason victims of domestic violence stay with their abusers. They are brainwashed to believe that is as good as it gets and even though it feels crappy the abuser has “their best interest at heart” ; or so they think.

  4. I’m not affected thus far , but I’m wondering if these “junk” insurance policies are policies chosen in the free market by people and maybe by comparison, some policies are better than others? I do not have a clear understanding as to how people elect and enroll in said junk policies. If one has a choice, there should be good policies to choose from.

  5. But you can bet that their health coverage is top shelf, with no restrictions or conditions. Not only for them but also for their families. Let them be covered under the same programs we are.

  6. Perhaps it’s time to save taxpayer money by eliminating elected official’s lifetime benefits. Anyone second that motion? All approved? The motion passes! Let’s make it happen. REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER! VOTE!!!

      1. I third the motion!!! Why should WE be paying them to have LIFETIME benefits (the BEST health care OUR money can buy for THEM!) when those dirty rotten scoundrels are screwing us out of our lowly HMO limited coverages healthcare???? THOSE are the “entitlements” that need to be stopped immediately!!!! Just like when an American worker leaves his job and his insurance is cancelled, so should this be for the politicians when they leave their “jobs” (which many never show up for on a regular basis, I might add!). No work; no insurance!!
        SIMPLE AS THAT!!

  7. This article is BS. “After Republicans repealed the individual mandate, a key element of what made Obamacare affordable, people saw premiums spike by as much as 30 percent.” – my BRONZE plan that has a $6000 deductible costs me more than my car payment. ObamaCare isn’t and never was affordable. If you have employer sponsored coverage you don’t get to talk about this. Period.

    1. We have employer sponsored coverage and our premiums increased greatly after Obamacare was passed. One problem that I saw with Obamacare is that the healthy people decided it was cheaper to pay a penalty for not having insurance than to buy insurance. So, everyone with pre-existing conditions bought into it, because it was cheaper than paying all of their medical bills out of pocket. Now you have a bunch of unhealthy people who have insurance, the healthy people opted out, so the extra cost to the insurance companies were spread out to everyone.

    2. I’ll take your $6000 deductible over my option of dying due to no coverage of pre-existing conditions any day. So would my 3 yr old granddaughter. The solution was to work on lowering unfair deductibles– not murder millions of Americans. Geezus…

  8. Trump is destroying Obamacare because it is named Obamamcare. That is it. He doesn’t have the rational or mature thinking to replace it with anything. Nothing. There is nothing in line to replace our healthcare. So nothing is better? Or like on Office Space, the problem will just work itself out because he fixed the glitch, Lol. Over half the population will die… mostly women because we have babies and are a pre-existing condition just being alive apparently, but not his people. The rich upper 1% men will be fine. Enjoy your deaths long agonizing deaths everyone!

  9. Sure. Let us cover the healthy who need little or no care and leave out the hypertensive diabetic with one kidney. Come to mention let us include all members of Congress with pre-existing condtions

  10. The smug smile of one who knows his time in Congress means he is set just fine on excellent medical insurance, and that most of the suckers who vote for him and the 49 on his side won’t figure out how little their crappy 364-day plan covers. So, they’ll live inlittle bubbles of illusory security until they learn the creative ways of insurance companies claiming something was a “pre-existing condtion” (as in, never tell any doc or nurse practitioner you once or twice had heartburn and then 4 year later get stomach cancer) or otherwise taking the lower premiums because the plans don’t cover diddly.

  11. Thank you GOP because you have just shown America that you don’t care about Pre-Existing Conditions, Now when they are on preaching that they want pre-exiting to be covered everyone will know they are lying. A vote for the GOP is a vote against the people of this country.

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