More evidence that Dems. are seriously considering dropping language on pre-existing conditions

As Democrats scramble to figure out what to do on health care, there is more evidence, which John first noted earlier, that one of the most popular provisions is on the chopping block:

Obama has suggested shifting the focus to popular proposals such as banning denial of coverage to those with medical problems. That particular fix is unlikely because it would encourage people to put off getting health insurance until they get sick, driving up the cost of premiums for everybody else.

“In health care, everything fits together,” said Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. “It’s very hard to say we can cut this out and do that.” Banning pre-existing condition denials would have to go hand-in-hand with coverage for all.

Hard to imagine how the Democrats can convince the American people that health care has been reformed if insurance companies aren’t reined in on the pre-existing conditions issue. Only people living in an out-of-touch bubble would think that’s a good political move.

And, before any policy wonks weigh in with a 10-minute explanation of how these policies are inter-related, let me say, I get that. But, I’m talking about the politics of the issue. The President made it a tenet of his campaign to fix pre-existing conditions. In fact, it was the top item on the website of the transition’s plan to “Make Health Insurance Work for People and Businesses — Not Just Insurance and Drug Companies”:

Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of their health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.

This is one part of reform that people get — and expect.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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