Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Truth About Pre-Existing Conditions Under the GOP Bill

Coming to a Unicef collection box near you, the fly dotted faces of the uninsured and the sad, vacant stares of those with pre-existing conditions who are going to be cornholed by the GOP healthcare plan.  If you were to have read or watched any news on Thursday, or even worse, read Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown's Twatter page, you'd believe that people with heartburn, acne and gout are going to be left to perish on the doorsteps of doctors' offices around the country.  Democrats call the proposed healthcare bill (THAT HAS NOT YET PASSED THE SENATE, BTW) a death warrant for sick women and children.  I guess sick men are all set.  They showed their true colors after the House vote was final when they sang and waved, "Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye." to the other side of the aisle.  Seriously... are these the leaders of our country or the student section at a fukin' high school basketball game?

The top alarmist of them all, Senator Brown, took to Twitter hours after the House vote and gave us his alphabetical list of "pre-existing conditions" that would cause people to pay more money under the new plan.  The list was exhaustive and I seriously doubt Brown even has basic knowledge about half of these conditions.

Example:  Brown put autism on his list.  I would love someone to challenge this dumbass and ask him how exactly is autism treated medically.  In the interest of making the list extra long, he also repeats conditions with different names - i.e. epilepsy and seizures, heartburn and acid reflux.  And what the fuk does he mean by "disabilities?"

Here is his list; the list that the Left is clinging to so as to raise panic in the streets over the new bill.  My snide commentary in red!

AIDS/HIV, acid reflux, acne, ADD, addiction, Alzheimer's/dementia, anemia, aneurysm, angioplasty, anorexia, anxiety, arrhythmia, arthritis, asthma, atrial fibrillation, autism (is not a medical condition, you moron!), bariatric surgery, basal cell carcinoma, bipolar disorder, blood clot, breast cancer, bulimia, bypass surgery, celiac disease, cerebral aneurysm, cerebral embolism (how is the sudden blockage of an artery a pre-existing condition?), cerebral palsy, cerebral thrombosis, cervical cancer, colon cancer, colon polyps, congestive heart failure, COPD, Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, DMD, depression, diabetes, disabilities (what the fuk is this???), Down syndrome (again, not a medical diagnosis), eating disorder (bulimia, anorexia?  didn't he already list them), enlarged prostate, epilepsy (see "seizures" later), glaucoma, gout, heart disease, heart murmur, heartburn (ain't covered now, asshole - buy some Tums), hemophilia, hepatitis C, herpes, high cholesterol, hypertension, hysterectomy, kidney disease, kidney stones, kidney transplant (is this different than "organ transplant" - see below), leukemia, lung cancer, lupus, lymphoma, mental health issues (you mean like bipolar, anxiety, depression, OCD, panic disorder, schizophrenia, seasonal affecitve, all of which you already listed?), migraines, MS, muscular dystrophy, narcolepsy, nasal polyps, obesity (???), OCD, organ transplant, osteoporosis, pacemaker, panic disorder, paralysis, paraplegia, Parkinson's disease, pregnancy, restless leg syndrome, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder, seizures, sickle cell disease, skin cancer, sleep apnea, sleep disorders, stent, stroke, thyroid issues, tooth disease, tuberculosis, ulcers.

So do you want to know what's REALLY in the bill regarding pre-existing conditions?  Are you interested at all in the layers of protection for people with pre-existing conditions?  Or would you rather just watch Saturday Night Live and listen to Nancy "We Have To Pass It Before We Read It" Pelosi?

1)  The first layer of protection is the Guaranteed Issue - insurers are REQUIRED to sell plans to all eligible applicants, regardless of pre-existing condition.  The 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act addresses that in its creditable coverage section.  So, NO, the new law will not allow people to be denied coverage, regardless of health status.

2)  Yes, the new bill would allow insurers to charge higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions, something that was prohibited through Obamacare.  But states will have to seek an optional "community rating" waiver of that AHCA regulation in order for insurers in that state to charge higher premiums. Those states would need to satisfy certain criteria, including development of a reinsurance program and explain how the waiver would improve that state's health insurance market.  So, if you have a pre-existing condition and live in a state that has not obtained the waiver, you CANNOT be charged more than other people for a new plan when you seek to purchase one.  So take it up with your state, if need be.

3)  Also, if you are insured now and remain continuously insured, you CANNOT be dropped from your plan due to a pre-existing condition.  AND you CANNOT be charged more after developing one.  If you have been covered and want to switch plans, either with a new job or annual enrollment, carriers MUST sell you the plan of your choice at the same price as everyone else, REGARDLESS of your health status.  By the way, this does not matter if you live in a waiver or non-waiver state.

4)  The final layer of protection is for those who are uninsured now AND have a pre-existing condition AND live in a waiver state.  Yep, you can be charged more for your coverage in this instance ONLY.  BUT, the state is required to give you access to their "high risk pool" fund to help you pay for your higher premiums.  At this point, there is $130 billion dollars earmarked for high risk pool funds.

The number of people who fall into this final category of high risk pool protection represents a sliver of the overall population.  When Obamacare was implemented in 2010, it included a 3 year bridge plan that allowed the previously un-insurable with pre-existing conditions to get coverage.  At it's peak, 115,000 people were able to get coverage who previously could not.  Those people needed the help and they got the help.  I am not denying that.  But... given those statistics, it highlights the small percentage of our population.  AND as long as those 115,000 continued with their coverage, they will not be affected by the new bill.

I'm sure this law is not perfect and needs some tweaking.  Afterall, it was written by a bunch of lifer hacks who don't know their ass from their elbow.  BUT....  you should at least know ALL of the facts before you start a GoFundMe page for your acne medication.

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