Don't Be Fooled by Obamacare’s Swan Song

Tuesday, 26 Jun 2012 01:24 PM

By Betsy McCaughey

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The White House is singing its swan song for Obamacare. The administration released an ad blitz claiming that Americans are already benefitting from the law's early provisions.

The implicit message is that these provisions will be sorely missed if the U.S. Supreme Court rules the health law unconstitutional. The ads spotlight protection for Americans with pre-existing conditions and allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26.

APobamacare.jpg
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, right, and Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., display copies of the weighty Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.
(AP Photo)
Don’t be fooled.

You can have these protections whether Obamacare survives the Supreme Court or not. These are two one-liners in a 2,572 page law.

Pre-existing Conditions:

Of course, people with hypertension, diabetes and other pre-existing conditions should be able to get health insurance. Most already can. Less than 1 percent of the population has been denied coverage from a pre-existing condition, according to Health and Human Services Department (HHS) data.

Even before Obamacare, no one with a pre-existing condition could be barred from employer-provided coverage (where most people get covered) or from Medicare and Medicaid.

Denials occurred only in the miniscule individual insurance market (serving 5 percent of the population). Even there, four out of five people with pre-existing conditions had no trouble getting coverage, according to HHS data.

Nevertheless, the Obama health law set up a temporary federal high-risk pool for applicants with pre-existing conditions. It's been a flop. The first year, only 8,014 people signed up in the entire United States.

Overall, the administration claims that it has helped 50,000 people with medical conditions gain coverage — 50,000 people out of a population of over 300 million.

That’s not enough to justify overhauling the healthcare system and depriving Americans of their liberty. The pre-existing conditions problem has been magnified by politicians all out of proportion. Moreover, it’s being solved by the states.

Thirty-five states already have high risk pools to help people with pre-existing conditions get affordable, subsidized insurance, and those programs can be expanded and adequately funded to reach everyone in need.

Kids Staying on Parents’ Health Plans

What about the young woman in the White House ads who says she wants to stay on her parents’ plan after college?

The U.S. Supreme Court ruling will not stand in her way. The one liner in Obamacare requiring insurers to allow young adults to stay on parents’ plans was an afterthought. It has proved popular, but also pushed up premiums.

If Obamacare is declared null and void, insurers will be free to offer that feature to customers who want to pay for it.

It's time to discard the 2,572 Obama health law and replace it with 20 pages in honest English that members of Congress and the public will actually read.

The public has no idea what the current law says. How could they? It's not just the length that's undemocratic. It's the gobbledygook language, which allowed politicians to slip in pork-barrel spending and exemptions for themselves, as well as claim that a couple of one-liners make the entire law worthwhile.

Betsy McCaughey is the former lieutenant governor of New York State and author of the new e-book, "DeCoding the Obama Health Law." She is president of Defend Your Healthcare and founder of the Committee to Reduce Infection Deaths. Read more reports from Betsy McCaughey — Click Here Now.

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