Tags: high | risk | insurance | pools

House Republicans Move to Bolster High-Risk Insurance Pools

Thursday, 18 Apr 2013 02:13 PM

By Melanie Batley

House Republicans are proposing a $4 billion spending increase for part of Obamacare, the first time GOP lawmakers have tried to fix rather than repeal the healthcare law.

According to The Hill, the Energy and Commerce Committee passed a bill Wednesday to increase the funding for high-risk insurance pools under the Affordable Care Act, after many new patients were turned away due to a lack of funding.

But the move is drawing criticism from those on the right who believe Republicans should be trying to roll back the president’s healthcare plan, not bolster it.

“A minority of our conference feels that the only vote that should be taken against Obamacare is a repeal vote — all or nothing, to kill it dead,” said Georgia Rep. Phil Gingrey. “I’ve always felt that ... if we see areas we can chip away at, that are the most egregious parts of the bill, we really should do that.”

Nevertheless, Republicans are committed to the idea of high-risk pools as an alternative to the president’s proposals that require insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions.

By using high-risk pools, the government pays to insure sick people who have been denied coverage due to a pre-existing condition, thereby preventing the steep rise in insurance costs for the rest of the population — which is the predicted outcome of the Obama plan.

At the moment, high-risk insurance pools are a temporary element of Obamacare and were designed to cover people with pre-existing conditions until Jan. 1, 2014, when insurers would lose the right to deny the coverage.

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