54M Americans have a pre-existing condition

Nearly 54 million Americans have a pre-existing condition, according to a new statistic from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The finding comes at a time when a court of appeals is considering a case that could impact those with pre-existing conditions.

Last year, a lawsuit launched by Republicans attorneys general and states overturned the Affordable Care Act, which protects people with pre-existing conditions by ensuring they cannot be charged more for coverage or denied coverage. The case has since gone to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals after Democratic states stepped in to defend the healthcare law.

Overturning the ACA would leave the 53.8 million people who had a pre-existing condition in 2018 vulnerable. Prior to the ACA’s implementation, those with pre-existing conditions were often denied coverage or charge higher premiums, according to KFF. Of nonelderly adults, 27% were estimated to have a pre-existing condition, KFF found.

“While we cannot predict how the court would fashion relief if these ACA provisions were overturned, access to individual market insurance for people with pre-existing conditions could be seriously reduced,” KFF’s latest report reads.

KFF used information from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to determine its estimate.