Unpopular opinion: the government mandating that private companies cover pre-existing conditions is still horrible public policy that inflates prices, distorts the market, hurts consumers, and undermines the entire concept of insurance. The whole point of insurance is to cover something that might happen… not something that already has happened. It’s a shame that Republicans have adopted this as part of their platform. Obama moved the line closer to socialism with Obamacare and the Republicans followed.
Speaking with reporters after a WisPolitics.com Q&A luncheon, Fitzgerald raised doubts about whether there would be enough votes in the Senate’s Republican majority to pass legislation requiring insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. But several hours later, after media reports on his comments, he released a statement saying the Senate would, in fact, pass such a bill if needed.
“Pre-existing conditions are covered right now, and I support that policy. If it becomes necessary to cover them in the future, the senate would pass a bill to do so,” Fitzgerald said in a statement released early Tuesday evening.
Walker has promised throughout his re-election campaign that he will preserve insurance coverage for Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions, even if the federal requirement to do so under the Affordable Care Act is struck down. With Walker’s approval, Wisconsin is part of a multi-state lawsuit seeking to overturn the Obama-era health care law.
Well, we can argue about that. Under the pre-ObozoCare system, someone with a pre-existing condition COULD obtain treatment by going to Medicaid. Yes, that had some other requirements, like not having a job or having a really crappy one. But it was “free” and a lot of people did it.
Except it wasn’t free, of course–the remaining taxpayers picked up that burden of the healthcare AND the cash (welfare) assistance, all filtered through the most inefficient bureaucracies known to man. At least with private firms covering ‘pre-existing’ one can make a credible case that there is less overall taxpayer burden.
Will it distort the market? Maybe a ‘one-time’ distortion will occur; we will have simply pulled forward the financial hit, but that can only happen once under normal circumstances. Going forward, there will be no ‘pre-existing’ conditions b/c the party is covered. And that also means that premium price-inflation due ONLY to ‘pre-existing’ coverage will not be recurring, either; IOW, there may be a 2% (e.g.) hit in year one, but that should be the end.
So long as hospitals and docs are raising their prices at a rate which far exceeds inflation, they won’t be hurt. They are not all that different from colleges: they’ll take whatever they can get from the insurers (or college-loan providers) and add a little vig for frosting.
Daddio sez: “…but that can only happen once under normal circumstances.”
I have to disagree on a certain point.
True, forcing companies to insure PXCs means immediate, huge premium price hikes for everyone in order to cover the immediate losses incurred, as you suggest. But in the long run those premiums will continue to rise in leeps as A) people, including those with cured previous PXCs, realize they no longer need to pay $12,000 in annual premiums v 2.5% AGI and so drop out, and B) as those that do need it when a condition arises buy in. At the tipping point – when the number of insured becomes a PXC majority – private HC insurance as we know it simply cannot continue to exist.
That is not distortion. That is destruction.
And that is what Democrats want and why Baldwin and company are demanding it. That Walker and other Repubs are agreeing is sickening and sad.
Agreed–but that’s assuming a situation ‘not in evidence’ as they say. PXC should be a one-time privilege; if the insured does not keep up coverage (even something like Medicaid) then they will be S.O.L. going forward.