July 27, 2018 Press Releases

ICYMI: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board Calls on Josh Hawley to End His Lawsuit on Pre-Existing Conditions

MISSOURI  Yesterday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board called on Josh Hawley to end his lawsuit that seeks to strip protections for nearly 2.5 million Missourians with pre-existing conditions. “Whatever Hawley and his fellow plaintiffs tell the public and themselves about their motives for tearing down this law, they’re tearing down a protection that many of their constituents literally can’t live without,” the editorial board wrote.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Editorial Board:

Legislative Democrats are pressing Missouri’s Republican attorney general, Josh Hawley, to withdraw the state from a national lawsuit seeking to gut the Affordable Care Act, which would return us to the days when a chronic illness — or even changing jobs — could leave you without health care insurance coverage.

That Hawley has so far refused to relax his opposition to Obamacare is no surprise. A U.S. Senate candidate in need of party backing, he has toed the GOP’s line against sanity on health care. But in the event he is still open to argument, he should consider the devastating impact this suit, if successful, will have on the Missourians he seeks to represent.

… The Trump administration, doing its part in this concerted GOP attack on the health of the nation’s most vulnerable citizens, has declined to defend the law against the suit. It’s an unusual move that, obviously, increases the chances the plaintiffs will win.

If that happens, the insurance industry would revert to the hellscape it was for many families before Obamacare, when insurers routinely charged untenable rates to people with pre-existing conditions, or refused to cover them at all. Study after study shows higher mortality rates for people without health insurance. Whatever Hawley and his fellow plaintiffs tell the public and themselves about their motives for tearing down this law, they’re tearing down a protection that many of their constituents literally can’t live without.

…The irony of the suit is that many of its plaintiff-states, including Missouri, have above-average rates of adults with pre-existing conditions, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

… U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., whom Hawley will likely face in November in one of the most-watched Senate races in the country, has co-sponsored a resolution directing Senate lawyers to fight the lawsuit. It probably is doomed, but it’s an indication that McCaskill is willing to make an election issue out of the premise that sick people need access to health care coverage, too. Partisan dogma aside, is this really the fight Hawley wants to have?

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