Flawed Logic: Your Pre-Existing Condition Is Your Fault
Imagine my shock, when I recently found out that not everyone reads our blog. I will give you a moment to recover from this astounding revelation (person who religiously reads our blog). For the very few of you that don’t always read our blog, let me give you some insight into one of the many reasons you should start: it will give you a better understanding of how the health care law is improving, and will continue to improve, people’s lives.
Recently, a former Senator said that people with pre-existing conditions should pay more for their health insurance – citing an example from his own life of having a daughter with a pre-existing condition and expecting to have to pay more for his family’s health coverage as a result). Later, he elaborated on this point by telling a mother whose son survived cancer that people with pre-existing conditions should pay more for health care coverage because they make poor health care choices (though he did qualify this point by saying that, in this case, it wasn’t really the young man’s fault that he got cancer when he was five years old).
If he had read our blog, he’d realize a few things about why the provisions in the health care law that end denials of pre-existing conditions and limits rating of premiums are important:
- Having a pre-existing condition will make it very difficult, if not impossible, for some people to get health coverage: A couple of years ago, my doctors thought that I had a brain aneurysm. During this scary time in my life, I became worried that having the surgery would not only put me in medical debt, but would make me uninsurable in the future. Why did I think this? Because the insurance industry really cares about their bottom line and not my health as shown by blog posts I wrote like this one. So let’s forget about costs for some people – even finding health coverage is completely impossible.
- Many health events in our life have nothing to do with “poor health choices:” My mom, who had a bout of yellow fever as a teenager, is a prime example of this. I hardly can imagine that the fact that she lived in an area with more mosquitoes can be considered a “poor health decision.” However, her past illness meant that when her job cut back on her benefits, she couldn’t find anyone who would insure her because of this pre-existing condition. (We won’t go into the fact that simply being a woman made her considered a “pre-existing condition” and if she could find health care, it would be more expensive and not cover all her needs.)
- Getting rid of the health care law and giving control back to insurance companies is, well, stupid: When my dad was first diagnosed with dementia, he constantly feared that our home would be taken away because of the costs of specialists and medicine. Why? Because millions of Americans have lost their homes because of medical debt.
Trust me; I know I have extraordinary parents, but the health care issues they faced are far from that. The reason why the provisions to end denials of coverage due to pre-existing conditions, charge more to patients who get sick or injured, and ending the days when insurance companies can drop people for getting sick are so popular is because many people know families, friends and loved ones in the same place as my parents who are struggling to keep the coverage they can get, when they can get it.
In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing more stories, and more blog posts from our staff about how they will benefit from the health care law. We hope you will continue to share your stories about why the health care law is important for you and your loved ones.