The Republican healthcare bill explicitly
protects those with pre-existing conditions
WASHINGTON, DC, MAY 10 - "The impotence and the impudence of obstructionists on the issue of Obamacare came to the fore earlier this week when spokesman Jonathan Gruber had the nerve to once again tell a bald faced lie on national TV," says Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
"Gruber is the so-called Obamacare architect who, in 2014, blamed 'the stupidity of the American voter' for the passage of President Obama's Affordable Care Act. It was an admission that proponents of the law lied to the American people in order to get their support for the law. During a live television interview last Sunday, the incorrigible Mr. Gruber tried to put the blame for the law's failure on President Trump, even though Mr. Trump has been in office less than four months. He told a national TV audience that it was Mr. Trump's fault that insurance companies were pulling out of the Obamacare exchanges. But, this is not about Gruber; it is about the desperation of the left to preserve Mr. Obama's legacy. And, it is about the pathetic lies circulating about Republican efforts to provide the nation with a healthcare law that will put patients back in charge of their care."
Weber says that political activists are deliberately distorting the GOP's take on healthcare. For example, he notes, those opposed to the Republican's American Health Care Act have been spreading fear by implying the law will deny coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions. He points out that the AHCA explicitly protects those with pre-existing conditions.
"Meanwhile, we are led to believe that, under Obamacare, anyone with a pre-existing health condition can get insurance, that if you want a health insurance policy you can go to an insurance agent and get a policy today if you want. But, the reality is that if you have a medical history, you cannot get a policy today, tomorrow or the next day. That's because Obamacare only guarantees that you'll get a policy (with some minor exceptions) during the open enrollment period, which starts on November 1st and ends December 15th this year. And then, you will also have a waiting period of at least two weeks before coverage starts."
Weber admits that the GOP healthcare law allows states to apply for waivers exempting them from the rules guaranteeing coverage, but they would need to provide suitable alternatives. In other words, the states would have to provide a safety net for persons with histories of bad health in order to be entitled to a waiver.
He cites a report on the Republican proposal prepared by Yuval Levin, the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C.
"The extent of the waivers is constrained, in light of the political pressures involved, though it would allow for some meaningful variation and experimentation with insurance rules. If they show that their proposed alternative rules would reduce premiums, increase coverage, or otherwise strengthen insurance markets, states can request to waive the age bands on premiums starting next year. They can set their own essential health benefits (and therefore can recover the right to define insurance coverage in their jurisdictions to a significant degree) starting in 2020. And, if a state has established a high-risk pool or similar mechanism for covering people with pre-existing conditions, it can allow insurers to consider health status when pricing coverage for people who have not been continuously insured."
AMAC's Weber believes that in the end cooler heads will prevail. "The AHCA passed muster in the House in its current form and is now in the hands of the Senate where significant revisions and improvements will be made. So, before we go off half-cocked, let's wait and see what the final legislation looks like, lest we put our fate in the hands of Mr. Gruber and his dissident colleagues. The American voter is not stupid, as Gruber stated. And, our Republican president and lawmakers are not to blame for the debacle that is Obamacare.
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