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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Six Month Wait in High Risk Pool

The president has been emphatic in arguing that under his health care plan people with pre existing conditions will not be denied. I guess he never promised how long those with pre existing conditions would have to wait to get covered.

Under the health care bills in Congress, you could apply for coverage through a new high-risk pool that President Barack Obama promises would immediately start serving patients with pre-existing medical problems.

Wait a second. Read the fine print. You may have to be uninsured for six months to qualify.

"If you are a cancer patient and have cancer now, you can't wait six months to go into a plan because your condition can go from bad to death," said Stephen Finan, a policy expert with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. He called the waiting period in the Senate bill "unacceptable."

Beyond the problems of forcing those that are sick to wait six months to get covered, there is the issue of cost. The plan only sets aside $5 billion for a three year pilot program. Does anyone believe that it will only take $5 billion to cover everyone with a pre existing condition for a three year period?

So, in effect, the new health care plan will make many with a pre existing condition wait long past the time they can to get treatment. Rather than fighting with the insurance companies over coverage while really sick, folks will be fighting with the government over the same thing. Of course, who knows what the bill will be but you can bet it will be a lot more than $5 billion over 3 years.

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