State Senate Democrats have filed a resolution calling on Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley to back down from a lawsuit about the federal healthcare law. Minority Leader Gina Walsh, D-Bellefontaine Neighbors, says the federal suit could cause 2.5 million Missourians with pre-existing health conditions to lose insurance coverage within one year.
“It’s getting harder and harder every day,” she says during a press conference. “There’s a lot of people out there this is going to effect. Every year we come here and we try and make it harder for people with lung diseases or industrial diseases to file a claim and get the treatment and the help that they need. Now, in this lawsuit, we’re going to make it harder.”
Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, says about 332,000 Missouri children have pre-existing health conditions.
“We are talking about people we know: our friends, our family members, maybe even people here in this room, people who have been seriously sick or injured before,” Schupp says.
According to a press release from the caucus, additional healthcare protections would also be eliminated if Hawley’s side wins, including the ability for young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance until age 26, a ban on annual and lifetime limits, a ban on insurance discrimination of women and small business tax credits.
Nineteen other Republican-led states have joined the lawsuit. It contends Congress’s elimination of a tax penalty for those who don’t buy insurance makes the law unconstitutional. Hawley adds that preexisting conditions should be covered but says the law must be overhauled to reduce healthcare prices.
Hawley is running to unseat Democratic incumbent Claire McCaskill. The race is expected to go down to the wire and is likely going determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.
Are Missouri Senate Democrats politicking?
“It’s not about politicking. It’s about doing the right thing,” Walsh says.
Schupp agrees by saying that all Missourians will be hurt if Hawley’s side wins.
Several non-partisan healthcare organizations have filed a brief opposing the federal lawsuit.
No Republicans in the GOP-controlled Missouri Legislature have signed onto the resolution.
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