Hagedorn Supports Protecting People with Pre-Existing Conditions

May 9, 2019
Press Release
House Democrats Force Vote on Deceptively Named Bill

WASHINGTON – Today, House Democrats brought up H.R. 986, a deceptively titled bill that claims to protect the health insurance benefits of Americans with pre-existing conditions.

Rep. Jim Hagedorn (MN-01) voted “no” on H.R. 986, because the measure does nothing tangible to protect patients with pre-existing conditions, and, it would block individual states from implementing solutions to drive down the price of health insurance and address Obamacare’s many failures.

Hagedorn is a proponent of establishing high-risk pools to protect Americans with expensive and pre-existing medical conditions. Hagedorn’s proposal is targeted to help all citizens, but especially the estimated 5 percent of patients who consume roughly 50 percent of all medical care dollars. Hagedorn’s solution would ensure timely, quality medical care, protect against bankruptcies and radically drive down the cost of health insurance premiums for private-sector consumers.

The Democrat bill considered by the House today, H.R. 986, would prohibit the Trump administration from granting states so called Section 1332 waivers to strengthen the private market and drive down insurance prices. The bill passed on a largely party-line vote of 230-183.

Even if H.R. 986 becomes law, it would not immediately affect Minnesota. Minnesota is one of seven states to have already created its own reinsurance program under the Section 1332 waiver provision to considerably lower premiums for Minnesotans. However, the legislation will deny 43 states the ability to join Minnesota in creating innovative programs to decrease premiums while ensuring pre-existing condition coverage.

The state of Minnesota is leading by example and helping repair state health insurance markets damaged by Obamacare.

Lastly, the bill is irrelevant to the vast majority of the American people. Those receiving care via Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, private-sector employee insurance plans and other plans are protected from losing insurance coverage due to pre-existing conditions by federal laws that pre-dated enactment of Obamacare.
Hagedorn made the following comments regarding H.R. 986: 
“I voted ‘no’ on this bill because it gives a new definition to the term ‘bait and switch.’ The legislation does not protect Americans with pre-existing conditions, but it would prevent states like Minnesota from dealing with Obamacare’s skyrocketing premiums and deductibles.

“Rather than addressing Obamacare’s failures, the same Democrats who promised you could keep your doctor, keep your plan and save $2,500 per year are making new false promises and playing a new round of political ‘wordsmith’ games.

“I encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to  join me in defending people with pre-existing conditions by passing legislation to establish high-risk pools (as we had in Minnesota before Obamacare) and Rep. Greg Walden’s bill, H.R. 692, the Pre-Existing Conditions Protections Act of 2019, to protect those with diabetes, cancer and other expensive medical needs.”

Jim Hagedorn was elected in 2018 to represent Minnesota’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He grew up on his family’s grain and livestock farm near Truman. Jim’s father, former U.S. Congressman Tom Hagedorn (MN-02), grandfather, and great-grandfather were all southern Minnesota farmers. Jim currently resides in the rural farming community of Blue Earth. Hagedorn brings policy experience to Capitol Hill from time spent as a congressional aide to former U.S. Congressman Arlan Stangeland (MN-07) and a congressional relations officer for two non-partisan U.S. Department of the Treasury agencies. Hagedorn serves on the House Committees on Agriculture and Small Business to promote farming, Main Street enterprises and southern Minnesota’s way of life.