GOP health bill spurs fears for people with pre-existing conditions

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The GOP health care plan is causing concern among people with pre-existing conditions. The GOP health care plan is causing concern among people with pre-existing conditions.

The GOP health care plan is causing concern among people with pre-existing conditions.

They're fearful of higher premiums or losing coverage altogether. Dennise Shulman, of Massapequa, says she's concerned about what the House Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act may mean for people with pre-existing conditions.

“It could affect me greatly if something happens to my job, and I have to re-up somewhere else,” says Shulman, who has asthma and diabetes.

Patient advocacy groups are warning the American Health Care Act will make it difficult for people to access and afford health insurance. The AARP says it "eliminates critical protections for those with pre-existing conditions." The American Diabetes Association says the AHCA will "give insurers the ability to charge people with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, higher prices." The American Academy of Pediatrics warns the bill could “completely devastate a family financially and leave those who need care unable to access it."  

But Seaford Rep. Peter King, who voted in favor of the bill, says the warnings are a bit off base.

“It does not apply to Long Island,” says King. “No one who has a pre-existing condition will be denied coverage.”

King says while it’s true that the bill enables states to request a waiver that could potentially allow them to opt out of guaranteeing coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, he says it’s not an issue in New York because Gov. Andrew Cuomo would never do such a thing. King also maintains that people with pre-existing conditions in New York will not see premiums go up.

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