The Corner

Pre-Existing Publications

At GOODHealth.com, Andre Grant criticizes Republican ideas for protecting people with pre-existing conditions while ending Obamacare. He says that the only idea Republicans have come up with is to put people with these conditions in high-risk pools, which have been tried before and found wanting. He mentions an op-ed Yuval Levin and I wrote in the Wall Street Journal in 2013 that touted this idea.

But neither in our op-ed nor in the House Republicans’ outline of a plan are high-risk pools the only or even the main way a replacement would protect people with pre-existing conditions. A regulation would also require that insurers allow people who develop these conditions to keep their insurance coverage so long as they had stayed on the insurance rolls previously. That would replace Obamacare’s more sweeping regulation, which requires insurers to sell policies to the sick and the healthy at the same rate, period, creates an incentive for healthy people to go without insurance–since they can just buy it when they get sick. That’s why Obamacare includes a fine on people who don’t buy insurance. The milder regulation many Republicans have in mind, on the other hand, would add to the incentive to buy health insurance. Which is exactly what Levin and I said in that 2013 op-ed, in language Grant quotes out of context.

 

If Grant or anyone else wants more on this subject, I’ve written more about it here and here

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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