In what I thought was a huge announcement for a new Health Care Bill titled “Ensuring Coverage for Patients with Pre-Existing Conditions Act’’, that might mean Republican Senators actually cared about the estimated 50% of Americans who have pre-existing conditions that would make them uninsurable without the ACA, turned out to a world-class hoax worthy of snopes.com. Data is from a study by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (here).
With great excitement, ten Republican Senators announced a bill that would allow all Americans with pre-existing conditions to be guaranteed the availability of health insurance regardless of pre-existing conditions. However, the insurance companies would be able to exclude any coverage for pre-existing coverage.
So let’s say, you have a history of Diabetes, you would be able to get a new health insurance policy – yay! However, any health care services (doctor visits, medications and so on related to your pre-existing condition) might not be covered – ouch! Which is sort of a problem, since if you have a pre-existing health condition, you would like your insurance coverage to actually pay for the condition since that is the whole point of insurance. See Larry Levitt, Senior VP, Kaiser Family Foundations twitter summary (here)
You can read the full bill here. The bill would also prohibit insurer in the individual market from varying premiums based on health. However, premium could vary based on age, gender, occupation or leisure activities.
Unfortunately, access to health insurance continues to be strictly a partisan affair. Health insurance affects all of us and should be a non-partisan issue. As we all know, Congress in both the Senate and House has not been able to reach bi-partisan accord on any significant issue in a long time, and to move forward, balance in our Government must be restored.
Walter Cronkite put it best in 1993: “America’s healthcare system is neither healthy, caring nor a system”. Not much has changed in 25 years.
For an alternative solution, check out “A Health Insurance Roadmap“