Health Care ReformObamacare

Do We Need Obamacare To Cover “Pre-Existing Conditions?”

StethoscopeContrary to what some folks in Washington would have you believe, there is a way to help people with pre-existing conditions obtain health insurance without using Obamacare to do it. Our friends over at The Heritage Foundation, for example, suggest one approach that I found particularly interesting: establishing high-risk insurance pools in the states.

Interestingly, as Heritage points out, 35 states already have these high-risk pools. They are specifically designed to cover folks with pre-existing health conditions that would normally prohibit them from obtaining health insurance. Arkansas is one of the 35 states that has one of these high-risk pools known as the “Arkansas Comprehensive Health Insurance Pool” (CHIP).

The Arkansas CHIP is governed by various health and insurance professionals, as well as two members of the general public who aren’t connected to the health industry. According to their mission statement, “CHIP serves people who cannot obtain health insurance coverage because of pre-existing conditions in the individual market, and acts as a mechanism for coverage to certain other populations who have lost previous coverage in the group health insurance market.”

How interesting, then, that we’re told we must have a top-down, Washington-controlled, one-size-fits-all approach that forces insurance companies to accept those with pre-existing conditions — without charging them more if they wait until they’re sick to enroll — and is already driving up the cost of health insurance across the board.

Hilariously, even the Obamacare website highlights that these state-based pools already exist and provide a pathway to health coverage for those with pre-existing conditions:

Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 11.05.17 AM

Again, I must ask: why do we need Obamacare to accomplish something that the majority of states were already doing (and the rest could easily do themselves)?

Ideally, I would like to see health care reforms that are more market-driven and less government-orchestrated. We need to reform our malpractice system, which drives up the cost of health care by mandating useless tests; we need to reform our insurance system, which entails government barriers that prevent the sale of health insurance across state lines; we need to reform our licensure system, which blocks access to health-care professionals except for the privileged few. Such reforms take advantage of the promise of federalism: our citizens deserve the prospect of state-based, localized solutions, which will always be more effective than a top-down, one-size-fits-all approach.

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3 thoughts on “Do We Need Obamacare To Cover “Pre-Existing Conditions?”

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  • dave bowen

    Risk pool,right. I live in a so called right to work state,where most employers do not provide health care,and are too cheap to provide a dignified wage,or give raises to those who earned them,without forcing workers to beg for table scraps. I looked into those so called risk pools. $775.00 a month for a family of three,on a pre tax wage of under $2,000. That may be affordable to people like Mitt Romney,or Rand Paul,but not for REAL working people who haven’t seen a wage increase in five years,thanks to cheapskate employers,and the government sponsored and condoned employee abuse,called right to work. Right to go on food stamps is more like it. Right to be homeless,right to buy school clothes for your kids at second hand stores,because you cannot even afford Walmart

  • d. barton

    There were waiting lists in some states for a number of pools, which is one reason they weren’t the answer. Every state would not set up these high-risk pools for the same reason every state didn’t go with Obamacare’s Medicaid plans. In my state, the cost was 25 percent higher if you bought insurance through the pool than what the policy would cost otherwise. Most people can’t afford these rates even for individuals much less families.


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