Sunday, October 7, 2012

Pre-Existing Conditions: "Romney's Sick Joke"

In an Oct. 4 op-ed in the New York Times, Paul Krugman may have touched a nerve, considering his piece has garnered 600 comments and counting. Titled "Romney's Sick Joke," Krugman fact-checks Romney's claim in the first presidential debate that his health plan covers pre-existing conditions.

But his advisers said before and after the debate that pre-existing conditions are not covered. Krugman asks: "Was Romney lying? Well, either that or he was making what amounts to a sick joke."

The truth: Romney's plan would cover people with pre-existing conditions who 1) already have a health plan that covers their condition and 2) can afford to pay the premiums if they lose their job. Over the past decade, fewer jobs offer health insurance. And that's already in current law.

Under Romney's plan, an estimated 89 million would not have insurance, which represents a third of the population under 65 years old. Another way to look at it is that 45 million people who would have health insurance if President Obama would lose it if Romney wins. Under the Affordable Care Act, people who have insurance don't have to worry about losing it, but a repeal of the ACA would remove that security.

Politico also covered the issue in this article, "Romney's Pre-Existing Condition Plan: A Tweak and a Handoff to the States."

Krugman writes that this is "the issue that should be at the heart of this election." What do you think, and do you support Obama's or Romney's approach to health coverage?


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