U.S. Representative Mike Coffman (R-CO) introduced legislation today, the Guaranteed Health Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions Act of 2014, to provide a critical consumer protection that would prohibit the ability of an insurance company to deny coverage based on a pre-existing medical condition in the event that the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, is repealed. Coffman has been a vocal critic of Obamacare and has consistently supported repealing the new healthcare law while retaining the consumer protections, such as requiring coverage for those with pre-existing medical conditions, as a part of an overall healthcare reform. Coffman also strongly believes that the choices consumers lost under Obamacare, either the healthcare plans that they can no longer renew or the family doctor that they can no longer see, must be restored.
“We can have a patient-centered healthcare system that has the consumer protections that the American people want without the harsh mandates that have caused so many to lose the policies that they wanted to keep or the doctors that they liked,” said Coffman.
Coffman’s legislation, if passed into law, would immediately take effect only if Obamacare is repealed. His health reform mandate would prohibit insurance carriers from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions for both the individual and for the group insurance market.
“I think it’s extremely important to help those with pre-existing conditions obtain affordable healthcare coverage,” said Coffman, a former small business owner.
In 1994, Coffman was serving as a member of the Colorado State House of Representatives where he introduced legislation, H.B. 1210, to reform the small group health insurance market in Colorado by prohibiting health insurance companies from denying coverage based on any pre-existing medical conditions, provided for adjusted community rating, and prohibited gender discrimination so that insurance companies couldn’t charge women more for their policies that they charge men. The legislation passed with bipartisan support and was signed into law by then Governor Roy Romer, a Democrat.
“This legislation is about finding better solutions for making healthcare insurance more accessible and affordable to those who need it the most,” said Coffman.