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Californian’s now facing a pair of wildfires; Also on the Tuesday rundown: Higher education in New Jersey: a racial split; plus food resources still available despite the “public charge” proposal.

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Fight Coming Over Popular Pre-Existing Conditions Rule

According to West Virginians for Affordable Health Care about 8000,000 people in the state have pre-existing medical conditions. (Pixabay)
According to West Virginians for Affordable Health Care about 8000,000 people in the state have pre-existing medical conditions. (Pixabay)
June 18, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – It promises to be a long, bumpy road ahead for the Department of Justice, which is arguing against a key part of the Affordable Care Act in federal court where DOJ attorneys usually defend federal policies.

The Trump administration opposes provisions in the ACA, passed during the Obama administration, that require insurance companies to accept all applicants. If they don't that likely would mean an end to health insurance for many people with preexisting conditions.

A new Kaiser Family Foundation poll shows 70 percent of Americans want to keep that protection.

Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow with the foundation, says without it, insurance companies could opt to end coverage for any number of ailments.

"It didn't have to be something serious like HIV or diabetes,” she states. “It could be allergies, it could be earaches in little kids, really any health condition. Kind of part of the human condition at some point to have some health problem."

According to West Virginians for Affordable Health Care about 800,000 people in the state have pre-existing conditions.

While the Trump administration joined 20 states in this month's brief that says the ACA is unconstitutional, attorneys general from 16 other states have filed a brief defending that part of the law.

West Virginia's Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is one of the AGs opposing pre-existing conditions protections.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Morrisey’s opponent on this fall's ballot for the Senate, has attacked that position as a "political game," which could hurt the people of the state.

According to Pollitz, the Affordable Care Act will likely continue to be a hot topic in this fall's elections at the federal and state level, as well as in the courts.

"Now the Trump administration has said that they will not defend the law, so it's going to be kind of a battle of the states in federal court over the constitutionality of these market reforms," she states.

West Virginia is one of the states that has seen the greatest growth in residents with health coverage since the ACA was passed.

Dan Heyman, Public News Service - WV