Working to protect your health care coverage

As Democratic Chairman of the House Insurance Committee, one of my most important priorities is ensuring Pennsylvanians’ continued access to comprehensive health care coverage.

You may have heard about a recent Texas federal court decision holding that the Affordable Care Act is unconstitutional. I want to assure you that the Texas ruling will not affect Pennsylvanians’ newly purchased or existing 2019 health insurance coverage.

In the future, however, were the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the decision, it could end or seriously compromise coverage for millions of Americans, including as many as 1.1 million Pennsylvanians who have relied on essential health benefits for maternity care, prescription drugs, mental health and substance abuse disorders, and more.

Fortunately, we don’t have to sit by and watch as our right to comprehensive health care coverage hangs in the balance. Legislation I recently introduced together with Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, would safeguard essential health benefits from federal interference by guaranteeing these protections under state law.

Specifically, our bill would write these federal essential health benefits into state law so they can’t be taken away. The benefits include ambulatory patient services; emergency services; hospitalization; maternity and newborn care; mental health and substance abuse disorder services, including behavioral health treatment; prescription drugs; rehabilitation and habilitation services and devices and chronic disease management; and pediatric services, including oral and vision care.

I’ll keep you posted on the bill’s progress. In the meantime, rest assured that for the foreseeable future, your newly purchased or existing coverage under the ACA will remain intact.