Life is supposed to be simple for Republicans, who don’t like questions about nasty details and complications like 1) people who are born with an illness or condition that is labeled “pre-existing” from a health insurance perspective; 2) can’t get insurance because of those conditions. You are just a problem they’d like to gloss over.
Mittens showed just how intellectually bankrupt this party is when it comes to addressing one of the most important economic and social issues in the country today — the broken health care system. It works for them – it works for anyone who has enough money to buy the best health care in the world. But it leaves the rest of us — and I am one of those people with pre-existing conditions — perpetually in fear of losing health insurance, being denied coverage if switching employers, wondering if the coverage one has is even adequate if medical situations arise that are expensive to treat and questioned by the insurance company.
This unbelievable exchange between Mitt Romney and comedian Jay Leno is evidence that he hasn’t even thought through a good bullsh*t answer. (Think Progress):
ROMNEY: People with pre-existing conditions, as long as they have been insured before, they are going to be able to continue to have insurance.
LENO: Suppose they haven’t been insured before?
ROMNEY: Well, if they are 45 years old and they show up and say I want insurance because I have heart disease, it’s like, ‘Hey guys. We can’t play the game like that. You’ve got to get insurance when you are well and then if you get ill, you are going to be covered. [...]
We’ll look at a circumstance where someone is ill and hasn’t been insured so far, but people who have the chance to be insured –- if you are working in the auto business for instance, the companies carry insurance, they insure their employees, you look at the circumstances that exist –- but people who have done their best to get insured are going to be able to be covered. But you don’t want everyone saying, ‘I am going to sit back until I get sick and then go buy insurance.’ That doesn’t make sense. But you get defined rules and get people in who are playing by the rules.
Without the mandate, healthy people could forego buying insurance until they became sick, thus driving up costs for everyone and potentially collapsing the system as there may not be enough people paying into the system to cover the costs of all the sick people. Moreover, there are people who, from a young age or even birth, have preexisting conditions due to congenital diseases.
Under Romney’s current plan, since they have no existing history of coverage, it’s conceivable people born with preexisting conditions would be completely unable to ever get insurance. Insurance companies have already said that without the mandate, they’d go back to denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions.