By Vicky Hartzler

I am pleased that President Trump signed an executive order to prevent private insurers from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. This is something that is important to me and all Americans and was the law of the land for most Americans even prior to the Affordable Care Act. 

Almost 90% of the U.S. population with medical coverage before 2010 had health insurance that offered coverage for those with pre-existing conditions through insurance people got through their work and government insurance programs. In fact, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) requires employers to provide health insurance to all workers regardless of their health status, covering over 150 million Americans. Medicaid, Medicare, and VA participants are also covered regardless of any previous medical condition. 

For the small number of people with pre-existing conditions that don’t already have insurance and have to buy it on the individual market, I have sponsored legislation to provide them with coverage. I have also voted to protect patients with pre-existing conditions in the past which is why President Trump’s executive order is so important to ensure no one falls through the cracks and everyone who wants to can obtain health insurance no matter their past health challenges. 

I look forward to continuing my work with President Trump in the coming months and next year to ensure healthcare is affordable, accessible, and available.