September 21, 2018
BRUNSWICK, ME –Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) met with Maine people at Lincoln Health Education Center in Damariscotta to highlight the impact of protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions, as well as the importance of community rating, another provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which requires health insurance providers to offer policies within a given territory at the same price to all potential customers. These protections are particularly important to workers involved in the natural resource industries that drive Maine’s rural economy; while Maine law does include some protections that would remain in place if the ACA’s protections were overturned, it does not prohibit health insurance companies from increasing prices for people based on their occupation, creating increased risks for those working in industries such as fishing, forestry and farming.
“Maine people living with medical conditions should be able to get health insurance at a reasonable price, rather than charged astronomical prices simply because of what they do for a living,” said Senator King. “The lobstermen and farmers I met today are a vital part of our state’s economy – we should be supporting them, not allowing health insurance companies to discriminate against them. This isn’t a matter of ideology – it’s about keeping our citizens healthy, and supporting Maine workers. I’ll keep fighting to defend the health insurance of Maine people, however, whenever, and as strongly as I possibly can.”
Following the event, Senator King released a video sharing his thoughts on the event, which can be seen HERE.
Today’s discussion is a continuation of a series of conversations on healthcare around the state. Earlier this month, Senator King met with seniors in Kennebunk to discuss the high cost of healthcare services in prescription drugs. In August, Senator King met with Maine families on the impact of insurance protections for children living with pre-existing conditions, and in June he spoke with a panel of Maine people with pre-existing conditions, healthcare advocates and medical professionals in South Portland, following Department of Justice’s decision not to defend the guarantee of coverage for pre-existing conditions.
Senator King has been outspoken in opposition to administration moves and legislative proposals that seek to undermine the Affordable Care Act, and last month joined a group of his colleagues to introduce legislation that would overturn the administration’s final “junk insurance” plan rule, which would expand the number of insurance plans that are not required to provide health care coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. In July, Senator King cosponsored a resolution that would authorize the Senate Legal Counsel to intervene in the legal case challenging the constitutionality of the ACA’s provisions protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Also in July, he published a post on Medium highlighting the Administration’s efforts to weaken the ACA. At the end of June, Senator King spoke twice Senate floor about the impact of ACA sabotage on Maine people and to honor the 53rd anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid. Senator King has also pursued agreements that would improve the Affordable Care Act to protect coverage for the millions who rely on it for affordable health care, and has developed several proposals to make common sense fixes to the legislation. During the health care debate last summer, Senator King outlined a roadmap of health care priorities to stabilize the health care marketplace and lower the underlying costs of treatment and health coverage for people in Maine and across the country.