Rep Schweyer, Policy Committee discuss his bill to protect people with pre-existing conditions

ALLENTOWN, July 25 – The House Democratic Policy Committee today heard from insurance and medical-related officials on a bill (H.B. 2552) introduced by state Rep Peter Schweyer, D-Lehigh, that would stop health insurers doing business in Pennsylvania from denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition.

“I requested this hearing in an effort to protect people from having their health insurance terminated because of a pre-existing medical condition,” Schweyer said. “If the federal Department of Justice persists in refusing to defend a provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, many of people across Pennsylvania may be left without health insurance or face expensive health insurance premiums.”

Schweyer co-chaired the hearing with state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, who serves as Democratic House Policy Committee chairman.

“It is imperative to the people of Pennsylvania that we discuss this topic in order to pass a state law that would preserve the pre-existing condition protection if the ACA is proved to be invalidated by the courts,” Sturla said

Schweyer’s legislation is a companion bill to (S.B 958), introduced by state Sen. Vincent Hughes, D-Phila.

Those testifying at the hearing included: Allison Beam, chief of staff, Pennsylvania Insurance Department; Ken Bertka, family physician and vice president of clinical integration, St. Luke’s Care Network; Doug Furness, senior director of government and regulatory affairs, Capital Blue Cross;  and Alvaro Castillo, community engagement specialist, Pennsylvania Health Access Network.

The hearing was held at the Lehigh County Government Center, Public Hearing Room.

As part of the House Democratic Caucus’ Plan4PA (www.plan4pa.com), the meeting is one in a series being held across the state which includes putting people first, good jobs, quality schools and fair taxes. Those interested can visit www.pahouse.com/policycommittee for Policy Committee materials.

#####/2018/agh
l:\print\releases\PolicyHearing.022