Shaheen, Manchin & Baldwin Lead Group of Senators Fighting to Protect People with Pre-Existing Conditions in FY21 Budget

February 14, 2020

(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today led 44 Senators in a letter to the administration urging President Trump to direct the Department of Justice (DOJ) to protect the law of the land, which provides health care coverage protections for people with pre-existing conditions. The administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 proposed budget continues to fund DOJ’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which protects access to affordable health care for millions of people with pre-existing conditions, while providing no mention of a replacement should the DOJ prevail in court. 

The Senators wrote in part, “We noted your announcement in the 2020 State of the Union that you would protect patients with pre-existing conditions, and we hoped that priority would be reflected in your Fiscal Year 2021 budget request. Unfortunately, your “Budget for America’s Future” does exactly the opposite… We are disappointed that the “Budget for America’s Future” continues to fund the DOJ’s legally unsound position in Texas v. United States. You could bring peace of mind to millions of Americans tomorrow by simply directing the DOJ to do its job and defend the law of the land instead of arguing against protections for people with pre-existing conditions and against access to affordable health care coverage.” 

Read the Senators’ letter in full here:

Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to stabilize the health insurance markets and make health care affordable and accessible for all Americans. Last April, Shaheen led all 47 Senate Democrats on a Senate resolution that would reverse the Department of Justice’s decision to side with U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor’s ruling to strike down the ACA’s health care protections. Shaheen has also led efforts to restore funding for Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment advertising and outreach activities that the Trump administration cut by 90 percent in 2017.  

Last year, Shaheen unveiled a health care affordability package that includes three pieces of legislation to reduce health care costs for patients and expand access to critical medical services. Together, the Marketplace Certainty ActImproving Health Insurance Affordability Act and Reducing Costs for Out-of-Network Services Act would make essential reforms to the health care law that would help stabilize the marketplace, lower premiums for middle-class families and combat escalating out-of-pocket health care costs.