Sometimes I worry about what will happen to me if the Supreme Court voids the Affordable Care Act (ACA). One of its provisions I liked most was making health insurance companies extend to those with pre-existing conditions.
Right now I’m (expensively) insured under a group policy, but as a cancer survivor, I’ve often worried what I would do if the premiums became just too high and I had to try to find other insurance.
Knowing that under the ACA I would be protected helped me sleep a little better at night.
No other group of Americans faces higher stakes in the impending Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act than those with pre-existing conditions, according to a story in The New York Times. The law is set up to prohibit insurance companies from turning people away or charging them more because they are sick.
In exchange, people like my husband, who doesn’t believe in health insurance and has lived most of his life without it (knock on wood), would be required to have insurance, helping to pay for people like me by pulling in healthy people, too. If the sick are covered without the larger pool of healthy people, premiums would skyrocket, insurers say.
The New York Times story reports that the Government Accountability Office estimates that 36 million to 122 million adults under 65 have a pre-existing condition, and possibly up to 17 million do not have insurance.
“When you have insurance reforms without requiring everyone to participate, it becomes a sickness fund, not an insurance system,” Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, told New York Times writer Sabrina Tavernise.
But all may not be lost even if the ACA fails. Some believe “the problems of high medical costs, widespread waste and tens of millions of people without insurance will require Congress and the president to keep looking for answers, whether or not the Affordable Care Act passes the test of constitutionality,” according to the Detroit Free Press.
California is one of the states most concerned about the Supreme Court’s decision. The ruling could affect millions of its residents and determine whether the state receives billions in new federal revenue, according to a story at the Mercury News.
Though more people are against than for the ACA, a full 82 percent of recent survey respondents favor “banning insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.”
Edited by Braden Becker