That Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion Rodeo

Talk of pre-existing condition exclusions was everywhere in the mid-term elections.  Few, of any political persuasion, want to publicly state that our health care system should abandon those with pre-existing conditions to the free market where the richest may be able to support expensive coverage and the rest may not.  

It is rare that we look health care access issues directly in the face. Instead, we argue that some people really don't want health insurance, some people don't really need health insurance, that a small regulatory fix targeted only at the most difficult to insure would be better than a universal ban on pre-existing condition exclusions in the sale of health insurance, and so on. We never want to be the ones to say something like: "some people will be uninsurable and that is just the way it is."

Why not?  Because, it turns out, Americans are pretty good at understanding that they may someday (if they are not already) be part of that pre-existing conditions exclusion group.  In fact, in the last weeks of the mid-term campaigns, some candidates were confronted by organized groups of cancer survivors.  And no candidate wanted to go there.

So, supporting a ban on pre-existing condition exclusions may end up being like Motherhood and Apple Pie, tough to dislike. But how strong a ban is supported remains to be seen.  Advanced genetic testing is able to tell us more about what health challenges lie ahead. So, you may already be in the pre-existing condition group — broadly defined– and not know it, though your health insurer may.  Or, vice versa.

Think fast. Is a pre-disposition to a certain disease state a pre-existing condition?



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