Millions with "Pre-existing" Problems Should Blame the Affordable Care Act, States the AAPS

Many Americans are afraid that they won't be able to get health insurance if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed because they have a pre-existing condition.

They forget that millions of Americans had their insurance cancelled for not meeting ACA requirements. Whatever condition they had went instantly from being covered to being "pre-existing," states AAPS executive director Jane M. Orient, M.D.

On October 29, 2013, NBC News reported that 50 percent to 75 percent of the 14 million Americans with individual healthcare plans would receive a cancellation notice in the next year. This was despite Barack Obama's promise in an August 22, 2009, internet address that "If you like your private health insurance plan, you can keep your plan. Period."

Replacement plans were often triple the cost for terrible coverage.

ACA-compliant plans are "guaranteed issue/ community rating." This "protects" people's ability to wait until they get sick to buy insurance, and it guarantees that premiums will become unaffordable. Low-risk people do not voluntarily submit to being grossly overcharged, explains Dr. Orient. "Underwriting—which allows premiums based on risk—protects responsible people who continuously maintain coverage from those who game the system."

"What ACA did was to destroy real insurance and replace it with comprehensive prepayment for everything ACA's architects thought people should be allowed to have."

"Obamacare's preexisting conditions provisions literally penalize insurers that offer quality health insurance to the sick," writes Michael Cannon.

ACA also destroyed the high-risk pools that states already had to address pre-existings.

"Medicare for All would complete the job that ACA started, and destroy health insurance," Dr. Orient stated. "It would cancel all private plans, outlaw alternate insurance for anything Medicare ostensibly covered, and turn all health problems into pre-existings. Thus, there would be no going back."

"For the inevitable cost explosion, the only response would be to deny services or drive them off the market by underpayment. Patients can expect five-minute visits after a months-long wait."

AAPS recommends:

  • Repealing federal mandates and allowing Americans to buy voluntary, affordable health insurance
  • Educating people that "major medical" coverage, rather than prepayment for services people don't need or want or which would cost much less without the third party, is not "junk" or "bare bones," but rather true insurance
  • Promoting honest price signals
  • Repealing laws that inhibit competition, such as ACA's restrictions on physician-owned hospitals
  • Liberalizing Health Savings Accounts and eliminating tax discrimination against individually owned insurance, Direct Primary Care, or other direct payment arrangements.


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