Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a health problem.
Contrary to President Obama’s warnings about health care in America, health insurance isn’t impossible for everyone who just raised a hand.
The President spoke—and still speaks—about Obamacare solving the problem of pre-existing conditions that have hindered health insurance for some people. Without Obamacare, he says, these people would be left out in the cold.
In 2011, the Obama Administration suggested that as many as 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions were “at risk” and “could be denied coverage” without Obamacare’s massive changes in America’s insurance markets.
That’s an emotional—and false—claim.
The vast majority of Americans have insurance coverage through an employer or a government program. Employer-sponsored insurance is not allowed to exclude people based on pre-existing conditions, and neither are government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Those who buy health insurance on their own in the individual market—about 10 percent of the private market—are the ones who need the protection. So let’s send the help there.
Heritage experts have said that we can help these individuals without “the massive changes in America’s health care system included in Obamacare.”
How should we help our fellow Americans having trouble with pre-existing conditions?
First, extend the same protections to the individual market that people with employer-sponsored health insurance enjoy. As Heritage’s Alyene Senger explains, “This small reform would ensure protection against unjust pre-existing condition exclusions.”
For those who have not had insurance coverage, states have already led the way. Thirty-five states have high-risk pools that ensure access to coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. Another state-based solution is to have insurance companies share the costs of treating high-risk individuals.
These solutions are closer to the people who need the help—and they are specifically for people who need help. One of Obamacare’s problems is that it blankets the entire nation with taxes, mandates, and negative consequences instead of providing targeted relief for those who truly need it.
This doesn’t help our fellow Americans who are suffering from health problems—and it hurts everyone else in the process.
Learn more about alternatives to Obamacare.
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