American flag and medical symbol HIPAA required that as long as someone had been continuously covered by health insurance for at least 12 months, without a break longer than 63 days, new insurance at a new job could not impose waiting periods.

During a recent appearance on MSNBC, Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) answered questions from “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski about the latest lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. “The most important part of Obamacare, as you know, Mika, is the protection against pre-existing condition discrimination that extended to more than 150 million Americans, folks who get their health insurance through their employer,” he said.

Because, as almost everyone agrees, health care is complicated, KHN decided to take a closer look at Coons’ statement, especially because much has been written and said — and put in campaign ads — about how many Americans have pre-existing health conditions and how they gained insurance protections under the ACA.

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