GOP Rep. Says He’ll Introduce Bill To Cover Those With Pre-Existing Conditions

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January 26, 2017 6:00 p.m.

Tierney Sneed contributed reporting.

Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) said Thursday he plans to introduce a bill next week that would “reaffirm” Republicans’ commitment to making sure people with pre-existing conditions are not denied health care coverage after the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

“We believe that people with pre-existing conditions should not be denied access to health insurance,” Walden told reporters at a GOP congressional retreat in Philadelphia. “We’ve believed that from day one. Theres been a lot of speculation that those folks would be left behind, I want to be clear that that’s not going to happen and we want to reaffirm that through legislation.”

Asked whether the Republican answer to the pre-existing condition issue would include a requirement of continuous coverage, Walden dodged the question.

“We’re saying that we will have a system in place that makes sure that people with pre-existing conditions continue to get coverage, there are lots of options of how you do that, you’ll see some of that.”

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper Thursday afternoon, Walden repeated that sentiment and said he would introduce the bill next week.

“We want to see continuous coverage. We want to make sure people with pre-existing conditions continue to get covered. In fact, I’ll introduce a bill next week that will provide and reaffirm that commitment from Republicans,” he told Tapper. “We’ve always believed that those up to 26 years old should be able to stay on their parents’ health insurance. In fact, it was a Republican idea before the Democrats put it into ACA. We’re going to reaffirm that as well.”

Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly referred to a statement on Walden’s campaign website that blamed Obamacare’s pledge to protect those with pre-existing conditions for rising health care costs. It was a local newspaper article reposted on Walden’s site, not a statement from the congressman. We regret the error.

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