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Pre-Existing Condition Prevention Act Would Increase Health Insurance Access

Posted Mar 20 2009 4:25pm

Walt Williams reports in the State Journal that West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller has introduced a bill that is intented to increase health insurance access to those with pre-existing conditions. The Pre-Existing Condition Prevention Act would prevent insurance companies from excluding a pre-existing condition from their coverage. Rockefeller claims that over 130 million Americans suffer from chronic conditions that could lead to individual health coverage being denied them. He also says that this bill is essential to pave the way for universal health care reform at a lower cost.

On the other hand, Walt quotes an industry spokesperson who says that the impact of such denials are heavily exaggerated (although they have far more impact when shopping for an individual health insurance policy on the open market, as opposed to an employer-sponsored health plan that puts a potential policyholder in a larger pool that reduces the risk of any one person with a chronic illness), and that the bill could result in a moral hazard: people will drive up the cost of health care by only buying insurance after they desperately need it.

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