With AHCA, We All Pay to Treat Pre-existing Conditions

Republican members of the U.S. House approved the American Health Care Act after amending it to allow states to eliminate the pre-existing conditions protections of the Affordable Care Act. Apparently they took comfort that people with pre-existing conditions already have guaranteed access to health care in America. Congress created that right back when Ronald Reagan was president, but did so in the most expensive and least effective way possible. If the AHCA becomes law, we will exacerbate that mistake.As the political fervor suggests, the pre-existing condition protections are a big deal. More than 50 million people under age 65 have pre-existing conditions. Jimmy Kimmel's newborn son has one as a result of a congenital heart anomaly. Far more common are the conditions mostly affecting adults: heart and lung diseases, diabetes and joint problems.These chronic, often lifelong conditions drive more than 85 percent of U.S. health care spending. Many conditions can be reversed with early, relatively inexpensive, care that helps patients change lifestyles and adhere to medication programs. But when care is delayed or done poorly, patients' health declines. Those people become frequent, expensive visitors to hospitals.  Continue reading...

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