My right wing acquaintances are all now spewing a new piece of misinformation. They are claiming that people with pre-existing conditions could obtain health insurance prior to PPACA being passed. That pre-existing conditions have always been covered, and those with pre-existing conditions don't need Obamacare to get insurance.
This is an issue near and dear to my heart. You see, in September 2011 I was diagnosed with an invasive form of breast cancer. I've had surgery and and treatment, and, thank the lord, I've seem to be free and clear of the cancer.
But last month my husband was told that he will be terminated from employment as of November 1, 2012. His company has fewer than 20 employees, and, because it's located in Washington state, COBRA is not available.
Because I just completed cancer treatments back in December 2011, we have since found out that we can not obtain insurance coverage on the individual market here in CT. That is, until 2014 when the PPACA provisions disallowing insurers to deny coverage based on PECs kicks in.
I am in the thick of trying to figure out how my family will get health insurance and have been speaking with lawyers, insurance brokers and people in the government of the state of Connecticut to figure out exactly what our options will be was our employer-provided coverage ends.
Luckily, as part of his severance negotiations, my husband was able to keep our current insurance through May 1, 2013. Our hope is that he is able to find a new job with insurance coverage prior to that, but with the current state of the economy, it's more likely that he'll be working freelance with no benefits.
This is not the first time we've been in this situation. Eight years ago, we were in a similar situation. Only then, we were told that no insurance company would give us a policy because our son is autistic.
Our son is now 17, and thankfully, because of PPACA, insurance companies can no longer take my son's disability into account to deny us coverage. The provision of the law requiring insurance companies not to consider PECs of children under age 19 was phased in back in 2010.
But the provisions requiring insurance companies to not consider PECS in adults won't be in place until January 1, 2014 and we lose are insurance coverage on May 1, 2013.
We've consulted several insurance brokers, and the message is always the same, we will not be able to get insurance in 2013 because of my cancer history.
Luckily, another provision in PPACA may help us out. Connecticut has set up a state run program for individuals with PECS to obtain health insurance. It's not great, but it looks like we'll qualify and it's something to tide us by until PPACA phases in (or my husband gets a new job).
So you can imagine my distress at the new right wing talking point that those with pre-existing conditions don't need PPACA. That we can get coverage anyway.
First of all, the thing that I notice is that they seem to be confusing the current legal provisions which require insurers to pay for medical expenses related to PECs if the person has continuous coverage.
As I tried to explain to someone, this means that if you move from one employer to another with different insurers, the new insurer cannot refuse to pay medical expenses related to your MS (yes, this person has MS).
If, however, her husband was to lose his job and their current medical coverage, it's likely her family would be able to obtain individual health care coverage because she has MS until 2014 and only if PPACA is not repealed.
You would think this is clear enough, but it doesn't seem to be. The right wing is obviously deliberately misleading and confusing it's followers, and, being that most of them are in a bubble, the truth is refusing to sink in.
But, I know the truth, and it's our job to make sure that independent voters not sealed in the bubble fully understand what's at stake.
BTW, if anyone wants to read up on this to make sure they understand the issues, check out this: http://www.healthcare.gov/...