Senators Renew Push to Ensure Affordable Health Coverage for Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) today joined Senator Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and others to announce their intent to reintroduce this week their legislation to protect health coverage for Americans with pre-existing conditions.

The Protect Act would protect Americans with pre-existing conditions and ensure they cannot be denied health care coverage or be charged more because of a pre-existing condition.

“Tens of thousands of Mississippians suffer from pre-existing conditions and worry about the possibility of being penalized because of their health.  The Protect Act would codify protections that shield them from that threat,” Hyde-Smith said.  “I hope this is an area in which a divided Congress can work together to do what’s right for our constituents.” 

The Protect Act would amend the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to:

  • Guarantee the availability of health insurance coverage in the individual or group market, regardless of pre-existing conditions;
  • Prohibit discrimination against patients based on health status, including prohibiting increased premiums for patients due to pre-existing conditions; and
  • Prohibit insurance companies from excluding coverage of treatments for a beneficiary’s pre-existing condition. 

Additional original cosponsors include Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), Roger Marshall, M.D., (R-Kan.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), and Todd Young (R-Ind.).

Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee, cosponsored similar legislation in the 116th Congress and supported an attempt last October to move that bill forward.