Thursday, May 04, 2017

May 4, 2017--Life Itself Is a Pre-Existing Condition

The current debate about healthcare among Republicans has come down to how the ultra-conservative Freedom Caucus and the so-called moderates disagree about how to deal with preexisting medical conditions--

As House of Representatives leadership scrounges around for votes to repeal and replace Obamacare, the debate focuses on how insurance should work for people who have health issues?

The moderates are concerned that tens of millions currently covered will lose their ability to purchase insurance since individual states can opt out of the requirement to offer coverage to Americans who have, say, cancer or heart disease or can charge many times what equivalent polices cost for individuals who do not have preconditions.

Though there would be some subsidies for low-income people these would be inadequate since the GOP version of healthcare insurance is in essence more free-market, for profit in structure than redistibutional. This means the legislation they are pushing is about two things--first, cutting government costs and, more important to Republicans, conservative or moderate, to repeal the taxes high earners are required to pay to help offset some of the overall cost of the Affordable Care Act.

This would mean that if you have a precondition you either have to come up with the cash to buy insurance or go without it. In a market-driven Darwinian world, c'est la vie.

Talking about this over breakfast yesterday, Rona said that everyone older than 50 has one or more preconditions just from having lived that long.

She meant it as a quip since it is not literally true; but, when we went down the list of our family and friends to see how many have one or more preconditions, we found that this is true for almost everyone we know.

Including the two of us! If we had to, neither one of us would be able to secure much less pay for health insurance.

From TermLife's Website below is a very partial list of preconditions that would be disqualifying if Obamacare were replaced by what is apparently about to be approved by Republicans in the House of Representatives.

At least a third of Americans have preexisting conditions that would not allow them to buy insurance or it would be beyond their means to afford if we move back to a market approach.

Everyone has stories about people being denied coverage. Here are two from Wednesday's New York Times--

Larisa Thomason, of New Market, Ala., remembers how her husband got a letter from Humana informing him that his policy would not cover cancer care because a colonoscopy had turned up several benign polyps.

Also, an insurer in Washington refused to cover any treatment to Alice Thompson's reproductive system because a doctor had written in her remedial record that she should have a hysterectomy to eliminate powerful menstrual periods.

This is a glimpse of the future of health care if Republicans in Congress and the White House have their way.


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June 16, 2017  

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