CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Calling the proposal the “best of both worlds”, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced legislation Tuesday to maintain protections for those with preexisting conditions.
Morrisey stood alongside State Senate President Mitch Carmichael and other state legislative leaders to detail his proposed law called the West Virginia Healthcare Continuity Act. This would ensure those with preexisting conditions do not lose their ability to buy health insurance as the federal courts consider a challenge to the constitutionality of Obamacare, a release said.
Morrisey said on Tuesday’s MetroNews ‘Talkline’ that the announcement is a tremendous development with this case and should move forward easily.
“It reaffirms my desire to make sure we are protecting those who need help the most. I expect, and I am very hopeful, it will have bipartisan and bicameral support,” he said.
Further detailing the proposed law, the West Virginia Healthcare Continuity Act would impose a general ban on restricting enrollment in healthcare coverage based on a preexisting condition. It covers ten categories of health services, while also mitigating the risk faced by insurers with open enrollment and affiliation periods, per Morrisey’s Office.
The law and its provisions will not take effect unless and until the courts strike down or render substantial portions of Obamacare unconstitutional, which is currently in a multistate legal battle that West Virginia is a part of.
Morrisey reiterated his stance on Obamacare Tuesday morning saying it violates basic constitutional premise that no American should be forced to buy health insurance against their will. He also harped on the raisin premium costs.
“We need to make sure that we turn Obamacare upside down,” Morrisey said. “I think people know they want the issues like preexisting conditions and they want affordable healthcare. You can do it both ways.
“But not the way Obamacare did which is a one size fits all system that treats everyone the same when people’s healthcare needs can be very different.”
.@MorriseyWV joins @HoppyKercheval to discuss the announcement with @SenCarmichaelWV on legislation guaranteeing coverage of people with pre-existing medical conditions. WATCH: https://t.co/wkudfIRZCB pic.twitter.com/5JcR9o4L5K
— MetroNews (@WVMetroNews) January 7, 2020
In a news release, Morrisey’s Office said he does not expect the ultimate resolution of the multistate lawsuit to alter the protections afforded to West Virginians with preexisting conditions.
Morrisey said on ‘Talkline’ there will be a setup structure, patient protection pool, which once a court decision is reached on Obamacare it will be able to quickly move forward to make sure protections are in place.
The 2020 regular legislative session begins on Wednesday and Carmichael said there should be bipartisan support for this.
He added that Tuesday’s announcement is a compassionate, conservative response to alleviate the problems associated with healthcare delivery in a mechanism of preexisting conditions.
“This press conference, the sponsorship of this bill and it’s impending passage should give you comfort to know that no matter what happens as it relates to Obamacare and the problems that have been associated with the enormous increases in our premiums, those with preexisting conditions in West Virginia will be covered,” he said.