In a 2017 interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Alabama congressional representative Morris Jackson "Mo" Brooks Jr. observed that people who live “good lives” are less susceptible to pre-existing conditions in most cases — and should pay less for their insurance premiums as a result.
"My understanding is that [the new Republican proposal] will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool," said the five-term Republican.
"That helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they're healthy, they've done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people — who've done things the right way — that are seeing their costs skyrocketing."
He continued, “In fairness, a lot of these people with pre-existing conditions, they have those conditions through no fault of their own. And I think our society, under those circumstances, needs to help. The challenge though, is that it's a tough balancing act between the higher cost of these mandates... and having enough coverage to help those people truly in need."
Now, Brooks has indicated that he is seriously looking at a run for the Senate against Democratic Senator Doug Jones in 2020.
The representative has never been a stranger to controversy. After all, he is a member of the conservative House Free Caucus and a vocal supporter of overturning Roe v. Wade. He recently quoted Adolf Hitler on the floor of the House when reading a passage from Mein Kampf, the genocidal dictator’s manifesto and autobiography.
Rep. Brook’s comments conflict with the stated desire of the Trump administration, when the president declared on May 9: "We will always protect patients with preexisting conditions."
Regardless of the Trump's statements, the latest Republican attempt to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) does change mandates, premium pricing, and out-of-pocket limits for people.
The Graham-Cassidy proposal exempts states from certain provisions, including those regarding pre-existing conditions. While states would still be required to provide coverage to everyone, insurers would also be allowed to lower pricing for younger, healthier people while simultaneously raising prices on those with costly medical issues and those with pre-existing conditions.
In recent testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means, senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, Karen Pollitz, indicated that the numbers of individuals impacted by pre-existing conditions are substantial.
Pollitz estimated that “52 million non-elderly adults (27 percent) have so-called ‘declinable’ pre-existing conditions in a year” such as “cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and pregnancy” pre-ACA. The concern is that these people would be the most impacted by increase premium pricing in the Graham-Cassidy proposal would also be the least able to afford them.