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Menendez, Pallone, Watson Coleman and Payne Release Report on Trump Administration’s Threat to New Jerseyans with Pre-Existing Conditions

November 1, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C.- Today at Robert Wood John Hospital in New Brunswick, Senator Robert Menendez, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06), Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (NJ-10), and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), released a new report from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee detailing how people in New Jersey would be negatively impacted by the Trump Administration’s actions to invalidateprotections for people with pre-existing conditions. The report estimates that as many as 352,000 people in the individual market in the state may lose federalprotections against coverage denials or premium increases as a result of their pre-existing health conditions, gender, or age.

“Donald Trump and Republicans running for office here in New Jersey think they can pull one over on the American people -- claiming they want to protect patients with pre-existing conditions at the very same time they’re trying to overturn those protections,” said Sen. Menendez. “The truth is that President Trump and the Republican Congress have been working relentlessly to send us back to a time when millions of families throughout New Jersey and the nation lived in constant fear of being denied insurance or kicked off their health care coverage simply because of a pre-existing condition.  This report only reaffirms what we already know:  Donald Trump and a Republican Congress pose a clear and present danger to the health and financial security of millions of families.”

“It is time for the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans to stop trying to sabotage the American people’s health care,” said Pallone.  “Rather than allowing insurance companies to increase costs for people with pre-existing conditions and discriminate against the elderly, we should be working together to improve access and lower costs for high quality health care.”   

“The Trump administration and Republican lawmakers are fighting hard to bring back legalized discrimination against people with preexisting conditions, including sixteen thousand of my constituents,” said Payne, Jr. “Republicans should give up their cynical attacks on the Affordable Care Act and work across the aisle to improve access to health care, expand mental health coverage, reduce drug prices, and ensure that all people have access to high-quality care.”

“Keeping our communities healthy, making sure everyone can get coverage and care, and saving lives should be basic, bipartisan goals,” said Watson Coleman. “We can’t allow this President or his complicit counterparts in the House and Senate to drag us back to a time when kids born with serious health concerns could be denied coverage altogether and just being a woman could mean higher costs. Rather than put more people at risk, we should work together to put every American in reach of affordable, accessible health care.”

The report estimates:

  • As many as 225,000 people in the individual market in the state may lose federal protections against coverage denials or premium increases as a result of their pre-existing health conditions, gender, or age. 
  • As many as 209,000 women could be charged more than men for the same insurance coverage.
  • As many as 161,000 older Americans could face exorbitantly higher premiums, simply because of their age.

The group also discussed the beginning ofAffordable Care Act’s 2019 open enrollment period, which runs from Nov. 1 through Dec. 15. Earlier this week in Trenton alongside Governor Murphy, Menendez and Watson Coleman announced the launch of Get Covered New Jersey, a state public awareness campaign to promote the Affordable Care Act’s open enrollment period.

As the Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Congressman Pallone has introduced a comprehensive bill that would improve the Affordable Care Act Marketplaces by making health care more affordable and by reversing the harmful Trump Administration actions that have sabotaged the ACA.