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  • Steven Corn

Pre-Existing Conditions...Pre-Obamacare. Remember Them?

I am so f***ing tired of politicians claiming that Obamacare is an obvious disaster and failure without explaining why they think so.  It's true that it's not perfect.  Insurance rates and deductibles are rising.  Networks of available doctors are shrinking.  But how would you feel if you had type 2 diabetes and couldn't get coverage at all!

Doesn't anyone remember what it was like to have insurance companies tell you that your pre-existing conditions were being excluded from your policy for 1-2 years or that they were charging you double or, worse yet, they were denying issuing a policy entirely?

I have pre-existing medical conditions.  My family has them.  In fact, most everyone I know has one or more health issues.  Here are some sobering stats:

  • ~50% of all Americans have one chronic condition

  • 1 in 4 Americans have two or more chronic conditions

  • 7 out of 10 deaths in the U.S. in 2010 were due to a chronic condition

Change the word "chronic" to "pre-existing" and you'll see just how big an issue this is.

I suspect that most of the ACA critics are covered under group policies that did not permit  pre-existing conditions to prejudice rates or coverage.  Certainly politicians who decry ACA are all covered under such policies.  I wonder how they would feel if they were forced to carry individual policies (not group) and were at risk for such exclusions.

So if the ACA is repealed, some politicians believe that increased competition between insurance companies will prevent pre-existing exclusions from returning.  Without mandated coverage, I highly doubt that.  There was plenty of competition before the ACA  and that did nothing to prevent these exclusions.

So try to remember what it was like before the ACA only 6 years ago!  Then see if your finances could survive an emergency treatment for pre-existing condition (after you have been denied coverage) or not.

I can already hear my critics saying that the rising deductibles are like being denied coverage.  But even the higher deductibles that ACA plans now have will be a pittance if you have to have any type of surgery for a chronic condition that was denied coverage.  

So, please remember.

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