The return of “pre-existing conditions”?
One of our favorite parts of the health reform law is the end of “pre-existing conditions.” Insurance companies can no longer deny coverage to kids based on prior medical conditions; adults get the same protections starting in 2014. Unfortunately, many policymakers calling for the repeal of the law would not even try to stop the return of pre-existing conditions policies.
“It’s a terrible idea” to end pre-existing conditions policies, Rep. Tom Price (R – Ga.), a medical doctor, recently told POLITICO. Price has advanced a bill proposed as a replacement for health reform. It would allow insurers to once again discriminate against children whose conditions they don’t want to cover. Up to 17 million children could have such a condition, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
We respectfully disagree with Price. One of our member organizations brought us the story of Tracey Wirtanen, who says her life has changed for the better because health reform finally ended pre-existing conditions. According to the Wisconsin mom, “My son has neurofibromatosis, a disease that causes tumors to grow all over his body. Sami’s treatments could not continue if we hit our insurance policy’s lifetime limit. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies can no longer impose lifetime limits or deny health coverage to children like Sami with pre-existing conditions.”
The Supreme Court will rule on health reform soon, and for the sake of all kids like Sami and their families, we hope the law is upheld. You can learn more about health reform and the Supreme Court challenge in our latest Speaking Out! newsletter. Get Speaking Out! straight to your inbox by signing up on our Facebook page.