Saturday, September 18, 2010

Insuring Everyone

The measure that's in the new health care law that has my family most excited is the part that bars insurance companies from excluding people who have pre-existing conditions. If you are unlucky enough to have a major health care issue then you know exactly what I mean. Until the new health care bill was passed, if your insurance company wanted to drop you, or not insure you because you had, say cancer, they could do this. You cannot imagine how much fear and stress this causes in a family: without health insurance you are completely vulnerable to your disease.

In order to get insurance companies to support this measure the Democrats and Obama added wording to the bill to require that everyone purchase health insurance. Because this part could be devastating to working families they put in subsidies to help people buy insurance if it wasn’t affordable.

This second part is what makes the first part possible. If you don’t have to have health insurance many people will do without until they need it. If you require insurance companies to cover everyone, then the only people who buy insurance will be people who are sick and this will bankrupt the system. So you require everyone to buy in and you require that insurance companies must insure everyone. These two parts must be in place for this to work.

At yesterday’s “Value Voters” conference Republican Mike Huckabee said this:

"And a lot of this, it sounds so good, and it's such a warm message to say we're not gonna deny anyone from a preexisting condition. Look, I think that sounds terrific, but I want to ask you something from a common sense perspective. Suppose we applied that principle that you can just come along with whatever condition you have and we're gonna cover you at the same cost we're covering everybody else 'cause we wanna be fair. Okay, fine. Then let's do that with our property insurance. And you can call your insurance agent and say, 'I'd like to buy some insurance for my house.' He'd say, 'Tell me about your house.' 'Well sir, it burned down yesterday, but I'd like to insure it today.' And he'll say 'I'm sorry, but we can't insure it after it's already burned.' Well, no preexisting conditions.

"How would you like to be able to call your insurance agent for your car and say 'I want you to insure my car.' 'Well tell me about your car.' 'Well it was a pretty nice vehicle until my sixteen year-old boy wrecked it yesterday. [He] totaled the thing out but I'd like to get it insurance so we can get it replaced.' Now how much would a policy cost if it covered everything? About as much as it's gonna cost for health care in this country."

He is distorting and outright lying about what this bill does. He's saying that people will be able to "burn down their house," (in other words, get sick) and still be able to buy insurance. How AWFUL! If you get sick, you are bad and wrong and shouldn't expect the insurance companies to cover you! But this is a lie, the bill doesn't let people do this, and Mike Huckabee knows it.

The Republicans rail against requiring people to buy health insurance, and they rail against forcing insurance companies to sell insurance to everyone, because they hate the health care bill. But they shouldn't be able to distort what the bill actually does just because they don't like it.

Without these two laws we are back to the situation that Bill and I know so well: when you desperately need health insurance you may NOT BE ABLE TO GET IT. I don't want to go back to that, do you?

The Republicans were wrong on the bill during the debate and they are wrong now to want to repeal this act. Millions of citizens will benefit, and the worry and stress on families will be less when they know they can continue to keep their loved ones insured.

Value Voters! Yeah, right. Promoting families! Yeah right. Those are values that require more than just words. Anyone can say they love Mom and Apple Pie, but when it actually require action these people are absent.