Now that the law is in jeopardy from the Supreme Court, the horror stories are coming back, this time focusing on what could be lost.
BATAVIA, Ohio — The tumor grew like a thick vine up the back of Eric Richter’s leg, reminding him every time he sat down that he was a man without insurance. In April, when it was close to bursting through his skin, he went to the emergency room. Doctors told him it was malignant and urged surgery.We've all heard this story countless times. Too many of us have lived it, or are in the middle of it right now. Some have already found relief under the law, in the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan which was set up as the stop-gap before the non-discrimination provisions of the law take effect in 2014. One of them is Maryann Kaine, 52, highlighted in this story. She had to have back surgery, and was dumped off of her family's insurance plan. What happens to her if the law is struck down?
His wife called every major insurance company she found on the Internet, but none would cover him: His cancer was a pre-existing condition. In desperation, the Richters agreed to pay half their hospital bill, knowing they could never afford it on their combined salaries of $36,000 a year. [...]
It is people like Eric Richter and his wife, Dani — uninsured and living in the unstable space between poverty and the middle class — that the law was intended to help. They earned too much to qualify for government-sponsored health care, but worked in jobs that did not come with health benefits. [...]
“It’s hard to pay for the unknown, when you’re struggling to cover the known,” said Mr. Richter, who is 39. “I know it sounds irresponsible, but that’s just the way it was. It’s a game of roulette you hope you’re going to win.”
“I can’t imagine that they’ll just dump all of us back out into the world of no coverage,” she said.It's hard to imagine, but that could very well be exactly what happens. That's the Republican plan: to do nothing about the millions of uninsured and uninsurable, because of pre-existing conditions. Mitt Romney certainly doesn't intend to fix the problem. He's more than happy with the status quo. Actually, he wants to make the status quo worse, allowing for insurance companies to sell across state lines. That move would effectively gut whatever state insurance regulations currently exist.
Yes, Ms. Kaine, Republicans and their five allies on the Supreme Court will dump you right back into the world of no coverage. And they'll do it happily.