Bensdad made a very appropriate commentabout a pivotal reason we are facing the possible (likely?) dismantling of the Affordable Care Act.
Which is why the only way to ensure the survival of the law would have been early implementation: First quarter of 2012.
Then it would have been IMPOSSIBLE politically to take away.
Bensdad is correct.
This is why we were all so outraged at the extraordinary four year delay between the passage of the law and its implementation. Yes, I know all about the CBO cost projections, requiring a delay, but who woulda guessed, that this would happen.
Couple this with the abject failure of Democrats to sell and explain the damn thing--as premiums continued to skyrocket despite something called the Affordable Care Act, and now we have this looming catastrophe.
We are all victims.
But there is a sub-set of victim dangling unmercifully today, with absolutely no understanding of their fate. These people are the approximately 62,000-70,000 Americans who qualified for, and enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan.
All these people are sick. Sick. I would be one of them, if I was not a resident of New York which is one of six states with guaranteed issue and community rating. I am a prisoner in New York because I can buy health insurance in this state despite myriad pre-existing conditions. New Yorkers in the untenable individual and small group market, who require healthcare, pay through the nose for bare bones coverage. Coverage which gets more expensive and less generous with every single renewal.
Imagine though. You are an American, (only citizens qualify for PCIP), a citizen of the richest country on the planet. You've been denied access to healthcare simply because you have a pre-existing condition. You live in a country that treats healthcare as a privilege. You live in one of 44 states where it is totally legal for insurers to deny you health insurance even if you can pay for it. You have the misfortune to live in the one remaining industrialized nation which embraces for-profit healthcare--which places wall Street profits before the health and well being of the population.
Finally, the government (now controlled by Democrats) throws you a temporary lifeline--the Pre-Exisiting Condition Insurance program. the government is calling the program 'a bridge' to 2014, when insurers in every state will be required to sell you insurance, and you will be required to purchase their very defective product. But it's a tiny step int he right direction. So you pay through the nose to enroll in the PCIP.
You make that long neglected medical appointment, and you're told you have a malignancy. Your malignancy is way more advanced than it would have been, had you been receiving routine preventive healthcare. But hey, you're an American, you live in a country where healthcare is a commodity, where insurers legally deny care--and access-to increase profits.
But miraculously, you're getting treatment. Chemo, radiation, surgery--all awful, but at least you're getting what you're entitled to. You show up late next week-a day before the SCOTUS ruling and the clerk in the chemo room gently tells you, that the hospital is desperately trying to find out what will happen to you, and many others just like you, if SCOTUS overturns the ACA.
No one knows, this kind clerk tells you. No one knows. You get hooked up and begin the infusion not knowing whether SCOTUS will decree life or death.
This is America in 2012. But some people are very happy . . .
Wall Street health care betting is surging, lots of money will be made in the coming days.
As I said, Americans are really, really scared.
“I have no confidence that Congress will turn around and adequately fund the public health system,” said Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, which represents people working in public health. The federal law sought to remedy years of underinvestment, he said.
The fate of programs like the federally financed state pools for people who cannot get private insurance that were expected to end as soon as the full law went into effect in 2014, when insurers would be required to cover everyone, is also unclear.
About 70,000 people have enrolled in these programs. About $1 billion has been spent so far to help subsidize their coverage and an additional $4 billion has been authorized under the law to keep the programs until 2014.
As a result, people like Linda Ellis, 64, are now insured. Ms. Ellis could not find a private insurance company to cover her when she lost her employer-sponsored plan after being laid off. Her husband is already enrolled in the federal Medicare program, so she had to try to find coverage on her own. She was not eligible for the state Medicaid program. Because of a shoulder condition and minor ailments like sinusitis, no one would offer her a policy when she scrambled to find coverage.
“People don’t realize you can get rejected in the private market even if it’s not life-threatening,” said Ms. Ellis, who now pays $428 a month for insurance from a federally financed state program in Ohio. Ms. Ellis had contacted Families USA, a consumer advocacy group that provided her contact information to The New York Times.
But Ms. Ellis said she had no idea whether she would continue to be covered if the Supreme Court declared the entire law unconstitutional. When she asked the office of her United States senator, she was told no one could say, and federal officials declined to comment on what might happen to any program now financed under the law. “Obviously I’m concerned,” she said.
Here is the only reference on the PCIP web site about what may happen.
This is some depraved way to run a country.
Do we have any Kossacks enrolled in PCIP who can tell us what, if anything, they are being told or are hearing?
How do the lawsuits against the Department of Health & Human Services concerning the Affordable Care Act affect my PCIP coverage?
The Affordable Care Act remains the law of the land and we are continuing to carefully and effectively implement this law to improve the health of all Americans. The Affordable Care Act created the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan, which is available to people who are U.S. citizens or residing here legally, have a pre-existing condition or have been denied health coverage because of their health condition, and have been without health coverage for at least 6 months. This program will be available until 2014. In 2014, you will have access to affordable health insurance choices through a new competitive marketplace called an Exchange. An Exchange will provide a transparent and competitive insurance marketplace where individuals and small businesses can buy affordable and qualified health benefit plans. Exchanges will offer you a choice of health plans that meet certain benefits and cost standards. In addition, starting in 2014, it will be against the law for an insurance company to discriminate against you based on a pre-existing condition. We recognize how important the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan is to you and will let you know if there are any changes that could affect your coverage.
RALLY TO RESPOND:
Will the Supreme Court Affirm Health Care as a Right?
5:30 p.m. on the day the Court ruling is released
Union Sq. in Manhattan
(SE corner across from Phillips Ambulatory Care Center)
· Local members of Congress
· Legal experts
· Local state legislators
· Doctors and nurses
· Local advocates
· New Yorkers already helped by the Affordable Care Act
· New Yorkers expecting help down the road by the Affordable Care Act
More information at HCFANY
BE THERE ..to celebrate a good ruling, or condemn a bad one!