CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, together with State Senate President Mitch Carmichael and other legislative leaders, announced legislation Tuesday to maintain protections for those with preexisting conditions.
The Attorney General proposed the West Virginia Healthcare Continuity Act to ensure those with preexisting conditions do not lose their ability to buy health insurance as the federal courts consider a challenge to the constitutionality of Obamacare.
“Our state-based, legislative solution reaffirms my repeated desire and promise to protect those with preexisting conditions,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Every West Virginian – with and without preexisting conditions – deserves access to affordable health insurance, and I am hopeful our proposal will receive swift, bipartisan support.”
The West Virginia Healthcare Continuity Act would impose a general ban on restricting enrollment in healthcare coverage based on a preexisting condition. It covers ten categories of health services, while also mitigating the risk faced by insurers with open enrollment and affiliation periods.
The West Virginia Healthcare Continuity Act and its provisions will not take effect unless and until the courts strike down or render substantial portions of Obamacare unconstitutional.
The Attorney General does not expect ultimate resolution of the multistate lawsuit to alter the protections afforded to West Virginians with preexisting conditions.
The Attorney General believes passage of the proposed bill will ensure the continuity of care for those with preexisting conditions, a top priority for the office.
The West Virginia Healthcare Continuity Act adopts protections to govern healthcare availability and affordability, without replicating the constitutional flaws of Obamacare.
Similar legislation won broad, bipartisan support last year in Louisiana.