The claim that Congressman Roskam has voted to deny protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions is FALSE.

Here’s why these claims are untrue:

1. Sean Casten cites Roskam’s vote for the American Health Care Act (AHCA) as justification for his attack. A simple look at the plain text of that legislation clearly demonstrates that it maintains protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions.  Section 137(b) of the bill states:

“No Limiting Access To Coverage For Individuals With Preexisting Conditions.—Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting health insurance issuers to limit access to health coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions.”

2. Even if the cited legislation were enacted, the current statute requiring the sale of health insurance to individuals with pre-existing conditions would remain in full force and effect.  With, or without, the enactment of the AHCA, present law provides that:

“A group health plan and a health insurance issuer offering group or individual health insurance coverage may not impose any preexisting condition exclusion with respect to such plan or coverage.”

Here’s what is being misconstrued. The AHCA did provide a pathway for insurance market changes that would lower costs for consumers, but the House went to great lengths to ensure any reforms would not come at the cost of protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions:

  1. There is a provision in the AHCA which would allow states to seek a limited waiver to federal requirements to make individualized changes to their health insurance market designed to meet their own population’s unique needs. For example, the States of New York and Wyoming are very different, and their residents have different needs that aren’t well served by the one-size-fits-all approach.
  2. If granted, the waiver would only apply to the individual insurance market where roughly 7% of the country, or only 6% of Illinoisans, purchases coverage. This provision would not apply to anyone with employer-sponsored coverage or government coverage, the vast majority of Americans.
  3. If such a waiver were sought, and the state demonstrated its healthcare marketplace was going to successfully provide access to affordable coverage, insurers could be allowed to charge individuals who do not maintain health coverage an amount reflecting the relative cost of their healthcare services for a maximum period of one year.
  4. This very narrow provision, under a hypothetical scenario, does not at all resemble the horrible ‘throw individuals with pre-existing conditions to the wolves’ attack my opponent has been spreading to scare people.
  5. Congressman Roskam does not and would not support such an approach, and is fully committed to increasing access to affordable health insurance for everyone, including individuals with pre-existing conditions. Statements to the contrary may make a nice attack ad, but they are simply untrue.

Roskam’s Record on Health

Instead of pointing fingers and blaming others, Congressman Roskam has worked across the aisle to find bipartisan solutions to address our greatest healthcare needs.

  • Leading author of landmark, bipartisan legislation to address the nationwide opioid epidemic. Promoting the use of alternative treatments, increases provider and patient education and enhancing compassionate, effective treatment, this legislation was a significant step in reining in this tragic crisis.

  • Leads the effort in Congress to address fraud in the Medicare system, moving legislation that enables the use of cutting edge technology to save taxpayers billions that should be going towards important healthcare services seniors need and not scammers and crooks.

  • Annually seeks increased funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to continue vital research for cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other rare diseases.

  • Led a bipartisan effort to increase access to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), empowering individuals and families to save money tax free–providing a helpful tool for individuals to make healthcare decisions based on their needs and based on their budgets.

Divisive language without action is empty and worthless. The 6th District needs a leader in healthcare who is willing to work across the aisle and not simply blame others.

Congressman Roskam has demonstrated the willingness and ability to do just that, while Casten continues to spew false rhetoric that ultimately accomplishes nothing.

Vote Rokam for a healthier 6th!