August 27, 2018
PORTLAND, ME – Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) hosted a discussion at Mercy Hospital in Portland with Maine parents and children on the impact of insurance protections for those with pre-existing conditions on Maine families. The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) protections for people with pre-existing conditions are currently being challenged in court, and the Department of Justice has announced that it does not intend to defend the law; if the protections are removed, Maine children with chronic health conditions or disabilities such as asthma, childhood cancer, diabetes, or developmental disabilities could face severe consequences.
“We shouldn’t even have to be here, discussing whether children – all children, including those with pre-existing conditions – ought to have access health care; it’s simply a question of common sense,” said Senator King. “Today, I was able to hear from a number of children living with pre-existing conditions, who deserve affordable access to healthcare, and their parents, who deserve to live free of the anxiety that comes with uncertain medical care for a sick child. These people are the folks I think about – and who I work for – when I am in the Senate: Maine families, who are simply looking to ensure that they are not priced out of the medical care they need to keep their children healthy. I am so grateful for their willingness to share their stories with me, and I in turn will share them with my colleagues as I continue to advocate for protections for Americans with 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 is a cosponsor of 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. Last month, he published a post on Medium highlighting the Administration’s efforts to weaken the ACA. In June, he hosted a conversation with Maine people with pre-existing conditions, health care advocates and medical professionals focused on the importance of these protections, and released a video on his social media accounts criticizing the DOJ’s “downright cruel” decision. Last October, he spoke on the Senate floor in advance of ACA Open Enrollment Period regarding the “sabotage” efforts underway from the Administration.
At the same time, Senator King has 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.
Photo 1: Senator King with Maine children living with pre-existing conditions and their parents.