Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Who needs the Affordable Care Act?

Who needs the Affordable Care Act? Maybe the estimated 129 million Americans under age 65 with pre-existing health conditions.
As many as 129 million Americans under age 65 have medical problems that are red flags for health insurers, according to an analysis that marks the government's first attempt to quantify the number of people at risk of being rejected by insurance companies or paying more for coverage.
The ACA, which will prohibit insurers from denying coverage or charging more on the basis of existing medical problems, would be a tremendous benefit.

The Party of No offers those of us with medical conditions nothing but further discrimination from insurers.

3 comments:

tarheelred said...

The Party of No offers those of us with medical conditions nothing but further discrimination from insurers.

Would you be willing to admit that the program you describe, one that does not consider pre-existing conditions, is not really insurance but rather charity?

Dave Ribar said...

No. It's the definition of insurance.

The problem with the current system is that you can pay all sorts of money while you're healthy (be a responsible customer) but lose that insurance or lose access to insurance when you turn out to be a bad risk.

Requiring insurance companies to accept all comers raises problems of its own, which is why you need some type of insurance mandate (it doesn't have to be the current one, but there does need to be some mandate to make the arrangement incentive-compatible for both sides).

tarheelred said...

The problem with the current system is that you can pay all sorts of money while you're healthy (be a responsible customer) but lose that insurance or lose access to insurance when you turn out to be a bad risk.

THIS is where I agree with you. I do think it is wrong to enter into contract and then have the insurance company deny benefits because either:

A. You get sick and they don't wanna pay to make you better.

B. They go back and claim that because you had acne 28 years ago and didn't disclose that, you are now disqualified.

THAT aspect of "pre-existing conditions" has been exploited by insurance companies and should be stopped. Either through current fraud legislation or new explicit legislation.

However, if I am uninsured and develop high blood pressure, it seems reasonable for the insurance company to ask me to pay a higher rate. Or, if I have cancer, to deny me coverage. It's not an easy position to take. And I certainly would like to think that we are living in a society that would set up charitable organization to care for such folks, but forcing companies to insure an already sick individual for the same price as a healthy one isn't insurance.

It's legislated charity.