SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Some Missourians in the Ozarks are afraid they might lose health care coverage for their children as pre-existing conditions have become a major topic of discussion in the Missouri Senate race.
Members of several organizations – Planned Parenthood Advocates in Missouri, Missouri Jobs with Justice and Protect Our Care Missouri – held a press conference Wednesday, in their words, to sound the alarm on efforts they say will take away those protections including a lawsuit backed by Attorney General Josh Hawley that is challenging the Affordable Care Act.
Cheyenne Mauzy, a mother speaking at the event, said her 10-year-old son’s bone marrow transplant was only possible because her insurance through the ACA accepted and covered her son’s pre-existing condition.
“His insurance kicked in after his diagnosis,” she said. “If he didn’t get coverage, I don’t know how we would have paid for his treatment; just his transplant was $600,000.”
But those protections, Senator Claire McCaskill says, are being threatened by a lawsuit challenging the ACA, which her opponent in the November race, Attorney General Josh Hawley, supports.
But Hawley has told KOLR10 he is in favor of coverage for pre-existing conditions.
“I think insurance companies should be forced to cover pre-existing conditions,” he said. “What I do not support is big government, big insurance collusion, which is what Obamacare is.”
Hawley has said McCaskill insists on keeping Obamacare, but she said she believes there is a way to offer those protections without the ACA.
“But we can adjust that law and make it better for everybody if we can get some cooperation from the other side,” McCaskill said.
Both candidates and Missourians are now also keeping a close eye on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
Hawley has said the nominee would be a defining issue for the Missouri senate race.
McCaskill believes the ACA lawsuit will reach the Supreme Court and that’s why that vacant seat is so important.
“I want to know how judge Kavanaugh feels about those protections,” she said.
Kavanaugh’s past opinions show he could vote against the Affordable Care Act. His confirmation hearings with the Senate Judiciary Committee will begin on Sept 4th.
Sen. McCaskill said she is meeting Kavanaugh Tuesday (Aug. 21) before voting on his nomination.