Washington, DC -- Congressman Duncan Hunter (CA-50) made the following statement today after opposing legislation Democratic House Leadership forced onto the House floor regarding pre-existing conditions and healthcare:

“Today, Democrats continued their partisan rhetoric with a bill that has nothing to do with pre-existing conditions but is called the Protecting Americans with Preexisting Conditions Act (H.R. 986). This legislation is a political ploy and attempts, to once again, undermine the goal of reducing health care costs, ensuring more flexibility, and protecting our most vulnerable. Specifically, this bill would repeal the Administration’s effort to expand a successful Obamacare provision that allowed states to waive certain ACA requirements in an effort to lower premiums. In fact, the President’s guidance provides the states the power to improve their specific markets through policies that best meet the needs of their residents, and has proven effective in seven states already by lowering premiums considerably.

“The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator, Seema Verma, has made it clear that the State Relief and Empowerment Waiver Guidance prohibits states from excluding those with pre-existing conditions. And I also want to make it clear that I oppose any legislation that undermines coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.

“The Democrats partisan #ForThePolitics legislation sounds like a great bill, but in fact it is purely a mirage. In reading the text of the legislation that has been brought to the floor, the word “pre-existing conditions” is mentioned zero times. Rather than coming up with solutions, the other side continues to attack the President, and this makes it difficult for any meaningful progress. It is for this reason that I voted against this legislation.

“With this in mind, I recently co-sponsored the Pre-existing Conditions Protection Act, which would reaffirm that enrollees cannot be excluded due to a pre-existing condition, including health insurance coverages in the individual and group markets. Most importantly, this legislation would restore section 2702 of the Public Health Service Act that prohibits discrimination against individual participants and beneficiaries based on health status, contingent on the enactment of legislation repealing Obamacare.

“As I continue to work with the Administration and our colleagues in the House of Representatives, I will continue to support strategies and solutions that give our patients in the 50th District more access and lower costs, while also ensuring that we continue to protect our fellow citizens with pre-existing conditions.”

H.R. 986 passed the House by a vote of 230-183 and will be referred to the U.S. Senate for consideration.