Representative Lauren Underwood

Representing the 14th District of Illinois

Underwood Bill to Protect Americans with preexisting Conditions Passes House

May 17, 2019
Press Release
Legislation would overturn the expansion of “junk” insurance plans

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood’s (IL-14) legislation that would help protect Americans with preexisting conditions passed the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation (H.R. 1010) would overturn an Administration rule that expands short-term, limited-duration insurance, commonly known as “junk plans.”

“Today the House of Representatives sent a resounding message by passing my legislation: the American people deserve quality, affordable health care,” Congresswoman Underwood said. “Three hundred thousand people in Illinois’ 14th Congressional District have a preexisting condition, I’m one of them, so I know this first hand: Whether you are pregnant or have cancer or depression or diabetes or a heart condition like me, no insurer should ever have the option to discriminate against us.”

“IHA applauds Rep. Underwood’s dedication to ensuring all Illinoisans have access to quality, affordable health care. Her legislation, H.R. 1010 takes needed action to protect patients from insurance plans that do not offer adequate protection over the long term, especially if a patient is diagnosed with a serious condition or illness. Illinois hospitals appreciate Rep. Underwood’s ongoing leadership to make sure vital protections included in the Affordable Care Act are not rolled back,” said A.J. Wilhelmi, President & CEO of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association. 

In August 2018, the Administration finalized a rule that expanded short-term, limited-duration health insurance plans that do not have to offer patient protections like coverage for preexisting conditions or essential health benefits like maternity care, prescription drugs, and hospitalization that the Affordable Care Act requires. Underwood’s legislation to overturn this rule passed by a margin of 234-183 votes.