has pledged to
that it will make
health care reform
a reality and restrictions for the millions of americans who have already been diged with a pre-existing condition. expect more
to continue despite pledge support.
so, let's fix
if everyone's covered we can make
as affordable as possible. the words pre-existing condition become a thing of the past. we're america's
companies. supporting bipartisan reforms that congress can build on.
joining me now here in the studio at
is the president of the right center from washington, d.c. and from "the
" investigative reporter who follows
health care reform
and a note, we did reach out to the
but a representative was not available to join us today. that is a disappointment. nonetheless, gentlemen, ask you the floor.
you wrote in the article today if insurers are prohibited from rejecting people with pre-existing conditions, they could try to
through more subtle means. i had insurance representatives on this program say, no, it's a good faith effort and they'll get rid of pre-existing conditions.
well, that's right. you know, if insurers were prohibited from openly discriminating, the incentive to
wouldn't necessarily go away and insurers could continue to
by more subtle means. for example, if they offer free
memberships, those would tend to attract people who are more capable of using the equipment. if they make it difficult for people to make payment on medical claims, they could chase away people who are chronically ill and people who have relatively few medical bills wouldn't be affected in the same way. if they want to avoid patients who have serious, complicated conditions, they could, for example, exclude from their network the doctors most renowned for treating those conditions.
so, joe, as you look at what's coming through the
senate finance committee
and the previous
, are you seeing anything that's concrete enough to prevent what
well, i think it's interesting. we had this issue in the
program for a number of years now. of course, we have
hmos and other
private plans and they are not allowed to exskud people and, yet, they are doing a lot of the things that people are talking about. the gym membership and maybe not as good coverage for chemotherapy and not having special coverage in the network. what we really need and what the house bill allows for perhaps are better than the
are tight regulation to make sure that we not only have the ability to have standard benefit designs, because we don't want a lot of different kind of benefit designs out there for folks. for example, humanna had offered that very beginning of the drug "b" health benefit a plan that covered all your coasts in that doughnut hole or gap coverage that was created. a lot of sick people signed up and their costs went through the roof and they tried to do the right thing and then they get clobbered so they have to pull back. a lot of companies are trying to do the right thing. if they offer coverage or types of benefits that sicker people like, sicker people sign up.
talking to the
health care reform
and every time i had someone on this program they have said we're in it for the right reasons and we're playing good
and still profit to be made. this is not a not for profit industry.
well, it all comes down to economics and it's true the
lobby has argued that everybody should have access to coverage regardless of their
. the insurance lobby has endorsed that as part of the larger deal in which the government would help the uninsured buy coverage and in which the insurance market would be greatly expanded potentially increasing the revenues of
. at a more nuts and bolts level, the insurance lobby has been pressing for features in the legislation that could potentially enable insurers to continue to avoid the sick and attract the healthy. that may not be their intent, ahip the insurance lobby argue it's important to give people flexibility in choosing health plans.
well, it's not my place to judge, but one potential effect is that they could taylor their policies to be more attractive to some people than to others.
, thank you. joe, pleasure. thank you so much, gentlemen. look forward to talking to you again about this.
let's get a