Thursday, June 21, 2018

Px: Revisited

Px as in pre-ex, as in Pre-existing conditions. We generally define these as health issues for which we are currently being treated, or have been in the recent past. As we know, ObamaCare requires health insurance plans to cover these immediately (subject to one's eligibility to buy a plan), and also forbids carriers from charging those with these conditions a different (ie higher) premium for the privilege.

Kind of like how auto insurers can't decline someone with 4 DUI's and 3 at-fault accidents, or charge them more than someone with a pristine driving record.

But what if the ObamaTax was itself a pre-existing condition?

That's the premise of this article in The Hill, tipped to us by a regular reader:

"As a physician whose career in medicine was dedicated to preserving and improving my patients’ health, I know firsthand how important it is for everyone to have access to care ... Before the ACA, having pre-existing conditions did raise the cost of health insurance — sometimes to unaffordable levels — for some Americans, and the key word here is “some.

As we've pointed out over the years, the actual number of folks that were adversely affected by the ability of insurers to actually assess and rate risk was negligible. Dr Hayworth quantifies this for us:

"Their numbers were very few relative to our population of over 300 million, and we can make a rough estimate of less than 120,000 — that is, well under 4 people per 10,000 nationwide."

Now, for those few, the results were daunting, and expensive. But there were already plans in place (PCIP comes to mind). And these could be quickly re-implemented if, as Dr Hayworth urges, we let the market provide the cure. She offers 3 very specific steps to get that rolling, starting with eliminating all the fluff that plans are required to include, but which really don't neet the definition of insurance. And she also endorses a tried-and-true strategy of assessing carriers to fund risk-pools for those who need that coverage.

There's more, and I especially like the way Doc H presents her case in a straightforward way, without relying on scare tactics or sob stories.

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