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AG Landry, others discuss pre-existing conditions

by Minden Press-Herald

BATON ROUGE — In an effort to protect pre-existing healthcare conditions and provide other patient protections, Attorney General Jeff Landry, House Speaker Taylor Barras, Senate Health & Welfare Committee Chairman Senator Fred Mills, and Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon’s Office discussed their collaboration on the Health Care Coverage for Louisiana Families Protection Act. The meeting took place Monday.

This proposed healthcare legislation, SB 173, would go into effect should the federal court’s ruling on the unconstitutionality of the Affordable Care Act become final on appeal. It would prohibit the denial of healthcare insurance for pre-existing conditions; eliminate lifetime limits on the dollar value of benefits and prohibits annual limits on the dollar value of essential benefits; allow for healthcare coverage on parent policies for any child until the age of 26 so our young people can get established in the workforce; and ensure that any healthcare plan provide for essential health benefits including ambulance care, emergency services, maternity and newborn care, hospitalizations, pediatric care, and prescription drugs, among others.

In discussing this initial framework to provide affordable health choices to the people of Louisiana – General Landry said, “Our goal is to protect patients, ensure the coverage of pre-existing conditions, guarantee coverage for essential benefits, and assure a robust marketplace for affordable healthcare with choices for the People of Louisiana.”

General Landry emphasized, “This is only one part of our ongoing discussions. We expect there will be more components to this bill and other actions as we move forward with protecting pre-existing conditions.”

Speaker Barras thanked General Landry, Senator Mills, and Insurance Commissioner Donelon for their work on this important issue over the last year.

Senator Fred Mills noted, “We are all one catastrophic disease away from needing these protections, each and every one of us.”

After years of problems with the federal plan including cost overruns, the cancellation of some private health insurance policies, and the loss in choice of doctor for some patients – a district court has ruled Obamacare unconstitutional. Should the ruling be upheld, the power to improve healthcare returns to the states for local solutions.

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