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Wednesday, 17 May 2017 16:31

Rep. Meadows wants to roll back protections

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To the Editor:

I found the article in the May 10 edition citing Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Asheville, as advocating “high-risk pools for pre-existing conditions” completely disingenuous. Meadows’ preferred approach on insuring those with pre-existing conditions simply restores problems that Congress addressed when it passed the Affordable Care Act.  

Meadows’ true intentions are reflected in the Obamacare Repeal Act, proposed by Sen. Rand Paul, M.D., and co-sponsored by Rep. Meadows in February.  According to Sen. Paul, that bill would roll back protections for those who have pre-existing conditions to what they were before the Affordable Care Act passed: a person can be denied health insurance if they or their dependent has circumstances defined by the insurance company alone. Back then, companies declined coverage based on pregnancy or expected parent, obesity, mental disorders, arthritis, alcohol abuse/drug abuse with recent treatment, as well as cancer, hepatitis, heart failure and stroke. 

Moving backward could have a great impact in our region. One survey showed that before the Affordable Care Act, one out of three of North Carolinians who applied for individual market insurance (typically self-employed, low-wage employees, early retirees) were denied coverage due to pre-existing conditions.  That’s a lot, especially if it’s you, your family or your employee.  

Medical expenses from one spell of illness can bankrupt a small business or family. Insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, which makes hefty campaign contributions to Meadows and other N.C. political office holders, profits more if the sicker are excluded or charged exorbitant, unaffordable premiums. That is the future that Rep. Meadows prefers for us.  

Charlotte W. Collins

Sapphire

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