WARNING: HARD HAT AREA!
Republican Health Proposal Would Undermine Coverage
for Pre-existing Conditions
The ability to opt out of the benefit requirements could substantially reduce the value of insurance on the market. A patient with cancer might, for example, still be allowed to buy a plan, but it wouldn’t do her much good if that plan was not required to cover chemotherapy drugs.
The second opt-out would make the insurance options for those with pre-existing conditions even more meaningless.
Technically, the deal would still prevent insurers from denying coverage to people with a history of illness. But without community rating, health plans would be free to charge those patients as much as they wanted. If both of the Obamacare provisions went away, the hypothetical cancer patient might only be able to buy a plan, without chemotherapy coverage, that costs many times more than a similar plan costs a healthy customer. Only cancer patients with extraordinary financial resources and little interest in the fine print would sign up.
There is a reason that many conservatives want to do away with these provisions. Because they help people with substantial health care needs buy relatively affordable coverage, they drive up the price of insurance for people who are healthy. An insurance market that did not include cancer care — or even any cancer patients — would be one where premiums for the remaining customers were much lower. The result might be a market that is much more affordable for people with a clean bill of health. But it would become largely inaccessible to anyone who really needs help paying for medical care. (from New York Times article)
I have never considered myself a particularly political person. But I AM a person with Type 2 Diabetes who requires medication to control it. Thus his lordship and I have been following the health coverage debate closely as it could affect whether or not he will ever be able to retire from work or if he’ll have to continue on just so we can afford the meds we need. We also keep our eye on it because of my brother-in-law, Greg, who has lung cancer. Without insurance that family would be in an impossible situation.
When I read this article this morning, I found this paragraph the most disturbing:
There is a reason that many conservatives want to do away with these provisions. Because they help people with substantial health care needs buy relatively affordable coverage, they drive up the price of insurance for people who are healthy.
I wish someone would explain to me how this is not discrimination against a couple very distinct groups of people in our society. In particular, older people and those with cancer. Am I really that naive to believe that this is a country where we want our citizens to have access to health care? And to change the regulations so that the older and infirm are effectively being denied that care through the prohibitive raising of insurance prices — well to me that is nothing short of a type of genocide. (Not to mention younger people with cancer who have families and can’t afford to live… What happens to their children?)
I know this is an incendiary topic and makes blogs unpopular, but I can’t sit quietly by and not have my say about this new bill being considered. I also know that a lot of people flat out won’t agree with what I say. But I would like to point out that one of the first acts of Hitler when he came to power was to rid Germany of the old, the mentally ill, and the infirm. Even if they were children. Am I comparing this administration to Hitler? I wouldn’t go that far because it remains to be seen what they will actually do, but I keep asking myself what the hell kind of path we’re going down in this country?
In October 1939, Hitler himself initiated a decree which empowered physicians to grant a “mercy death” to “patients considered incurable according to the best available human judgment of their state of health.” The intent of the so-called “euthanasia” program, however, was not to relieve the suffering of the chronically ill. The Nazi regime used the term as a euphemism: its aim was to exterminate the mentally ill and the handicapped, thus “cleansing” the “Aryan” race of persons considered genetically defective and a financial burden to society. (“Euthanasia” Killings, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum)
To me we are getting a little too close to comfort in this country. Perhaps we all ought to sit down and watch the movie Logan’s Run where people turning 30 were required to be turned off or go on “Carrousel” and “try like hell for renewal…” (Carrousel was a death machine.)
If you’ve a mind to leave a comment, feel free to do so. Not looking for a debate and won’t engage in one. I just needed to say what was on my heart after reading that article this morning…