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The Affordable Care Act prohibited insurers from turning away consumers with preexisting medical conditions, a practice that was once standard in the industry.

Among the conditions that once commonly made insurers deny coverage, according to a list assembled by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, were:



Alcohol abuse/drug abuse with recent treatment

Mental disorders


Multiple sclerosis

Arthritis (rheumatoid), fibromyalgia, other inflammatory joint disease

Muscular dystrophy

Cancer within some period of time (e.g., 10 years)

Cerebral palsy

Severe obesity

Organ transplant

Congestive heart failure


Coronary artery/heart disease, bypass surgery


Crohn’s disease/ulcerative colitis

Parkinson’s disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/emphysema

Pending surgery or hospitalization

Diabetes mellitus

Pneumocystis pneumonia


Pregnancy or expectant parent


Sleep apnea

Hepatitis C


Kidney disease, renal failure


The American Health Care Act, as the House Republican health care bill is called, does not explicitly eliminate ACA’s coverage guarantee.

But the bill would allow states to obtain a waiver from the federal government to eliminate another ACA mandate that prohibits insurers from charging people with preexisting medical conditions more for insurance.

That means that some people with preexisting medical conditions could see their premiums spike dramatically, if the House bill becomes law.

In other words, a patient with diabetes, heart disease or cancer might still be “guaranteed” coverage, but only if he or she agreed to pay five or 10 times as much for a health plan.