Just Plain Mean

As part of its latest attempt to dismember Obamacare – even though Republicans in Congress seem not to care anymore – the Trump administration is taking aim and one of the most popular provisions in the health care reform law:  the requirement that insurers must insure people who have medical problems and can charge no more to people with pre-existing conditions than they do their other clients.

People LOVE that requirement.  Republicans mostly LOVE that requirement.  Even a lot of conservatives LOVE that requirement.  Until 2010, insurers could charge exorbitant premiums to anyone who had a medical condition that might cost them some money down the road – that is, if they didn’t just refuse to insure them at all. Cancer survivors, people with heart conditions, diabetics, people with hypertension or sickle cell disease, and those with many other problems were constantly at risk of being priced out of the health insurance market.

Now before you go ahead and say “Yeah, well, those people DO cost a lot more to care for,” don’t forget the concept underlying health insurance: gather together large pools of people, collect premiums from them, and help them work together to take care of one another.  The Curmudgeon recalls that when he was undergoing radiation treatment and constant blood tests and CAT scans and exams nearly 11 years ago, he said to a co-worker “For the first time, I understand it from the insurer’s point of view.  I’m costing them a lot of money.”  To which she replied:  “You’re 50 years old.  Were you ever sick before this?”  The answer:  No.  “So that means that you’ve been insured for 50 years and you barely used any of that premium money.  All that time, your insurers were using your premiums to help others.  Now, it’s using others’ premiums to help you.  That’s how insurance works.”

Official cartoon character of the Republican Party

She was right, of course, but now, the Trump administration, with all the kindness and empathy of, oh, Snidely Whiplash, wants to block enforcement of a rule that is an absolute lifeline not only to people who’ve had the misfortune of having a medical problem in their lives – which, ultimately, is all of us if we live long enough – but also to their families as well, because entire families lose when one member has a medical problem that results in the family being rejected for health insurance or being charged so much that insurance becomes unaffordable.

It’s just plain cruel, but then, these are just plain cruel people calling the shots in the Trump administration these days.

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Comments

  • Peaches Shimmerdeep  On June 13, 2018 at 10:22 pm

    Well said. This is outrageous.

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