The Affordable Care Act is back in the spotlight after the U.S. Department of Justice said it will not defend parts of the law including pre-existing condition coverage. In Indiana, opposition to the proposed changes is growing.
The DOJ sided with 20 states, including Indiana, that claim the individual mandate is unconstitutional and so some cost regulations should fail as well. That includes costs equivalent measures and coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
In a press call from Sen. Joe Donnelly’s office, former Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services head Andy Slavitt says the pre-existing rule is popular.
"I believe the majority of Hoosiers of both parties believe that they should be able to buy insurance regardless of their history of illness," says Slavitt.
Numerous groups warn these changes will have a ripple effect. Kate Shepherd is with Protect Our Care Indiana.
"The result is increased premiums for everyone," says Shepherd, "even those people who are not buying their insurance through the actual marketplace."
Protect Our Care released a new report that finds people in rural Indiana could be impacted most. Shepherd says Hoosiers have benefited from the law.
"What we have seen is that many people have started businesses because they knew they could get coverage because those pre-exisiting conditions no longer meant they couldn't get insurance," say Shepherd.
Slavitt says a push for states to sell short-term plans that offer limited coverage could also impact premiums.
"In anticipation of losing members, healthier members," says Slavitt, "they're raising their price so we have a situation where regardless of what the rates look like they're going to be much higher than they need to be."
A look at Indiana’s expected 2019 rates is due next week.
After the DOJ said it won’t defend ACA provisions that mandate coverage Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill praised the move. In a statement he says states should have more control.
“Congress should allow Indiana and all other states to exercise freedom in the ways they deal with the issue of health care for their own citizens," said Hill.
Indiana’s uninsured rate dropped to seven percent last year -- its lowest ever.