Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Healthcare Reform:: Preexisting Conditions.

Denial of preexisting conditions is one of the talking points the administration and congress are using to try and sell their "public option" insurance plan. The president is using it as I type in his town hall meeting today.

Insurance companies do not refuse the vast majority of applicants because of preexisting health conditions. They require a waiting period before coverage of the preexisting condition starts, usually 12-18 months, and charge more for coverage.

We know this because of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) is "a federal law that:
* Limits the ability of a new employer plan to exclude coverage for preexisting conditions;
* Provides additional opportunities to enroll in a group health plan if you lose other coverage or experience certain life events;
* Prohibits discrimination against employees and their dependent family members based on any health factors they may have, including prior medical conditions, previous claims experience, and genetic information; and
* Guarantees that certain individuals will have access to, and can renew, individual health insurance policies."
What can ObamaCare, or DemoCare, do to fix this?

They could expand HIPAA to include individuals who want to purchase healthcare insurance but who were not a member of a group plan. Of course this change would run up the cost of the insurance, but congress doesn't mind. They won't be in that insurance system. And besides, running up costs may just be their plan.

While providing health care is the humanitarian way, providing health care and insurance is not a right, as in a constitutionally protected right, such as free political speech or lodging soldiers in your home. If it were, it would be guaranteed by the US Constitution and given to Americans "free". Of course it cannot be free as the health care providers need to earn a living just like you and I, so they must be paid.

HR 3200's preexisting condition clause ensures the cost of insurance will increase. Ultimately someone must pay for it.

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