WASHINGTON — Just days after President Obama signed the new health care law, insurance companies are already arguing that, at least for now, they do not have to provide one of the benefits that the president calls a centerpiece of the law: coverage for certain children with pre-existing conditions.
Mr. Obama, speaking at a health care rally in northern Virginia on March 19, said, “Starting this year, insurance companies will be banned forever from denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions.”
The authors of the law say they meant to ban all forms of discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, birth defects, orthopedic problems, leukemia, cystic fibrosis and sickle cell disease. The goal, they say, was to provide those youngsters with access to insurance and to a full range of benefits once they are in a health plan.
To insurance companies, the language of the law is not so clear.
Insurers agree that if they provide insurance for a child, they must cover pre-existing conditions. But, they say, the law does not require them to write insurance for the child and it does not guarantee the “availability of coverage” for all until 2014.
William G. Schiffbauer, a lawyer whose clients include employers and insurance companies, said: “The fine print differs from the larger political message. If a company sells insurance, it will have to cover pre-existing conditions for children covered by the policy. But it does not have to sell to somebody with a pre-existing condition. And the insurer could increase premiums to cover the additional cost.”
Congressional Democrats were furious when they learned that some insurers disagreed with their interpretation of the law.
“The concept that insurance companies would even seek to deny children coverage exemplifies why we fought for this reform,” said Representative Henry A. Waxman, Democrat of California and chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.
Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, Democrat of West Virginia and chairman of the Senate commerce committee, said: “The ink has not yet dried on the health care reform bill, and already some deplorable health insurance companies are trying to duck away from covering children with pre-existing conditions. This is outrageous.”
It's not outrageous - it's expected. They're insurance companies and they make money by screwing other people out of coverage.
That's how the system works, Senator.
It's called capitalism.
What is outrageous is that you and President Accountability and the rest of the Democrats who voted for the "reform" bill didn't see that the insurance companies would look for, find and exploit these loopholes right from the beginning - literally less than a week after the bill was signed into law.
That's what's outrageous.
What I want to know is, did you and President Accountability see this possibility and pass "reform" for political reasons anyway or are you just fucking stupid?
I'm guessing it's the former, but sometimes when you open your mouths, I think it might be the latter.