Newsweek: Opinion: We Must Stop Discriminating Against the Seriously Ill
BYMay 12, 2016
Twelve million Americans have gained health insurance through the exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA). But too often, their coverage has proved “affordable” in name only.
Federal rule makers are set to change that. They’re attempting to prevent insurance companies from denying quality coverage to patients with epilepsy, cancer and a host of other chronic conditions. If they succeed, they’ll have, at long last, achieved one of the ACA’s most important goals: ending discrimination against sicker patients.
The ACA bans insurers from outright refusing to cover people with pre-existing conditions. Unfortunately, that provision didn’t actually stop insurance companies from turning away chronically ill patients—it just forced them to find new and creative ways to do so. One common strategy is to design plans so that medications for conditions like epilepsy, cancer and HIV/AIDS are all but unaffordable.