Before Obamacare…

Thanks to Cheryl Sparks Salerno for reminding us of the good old days before Obamacare. Just makes the Republicant efforts at repeal criminal. Adding to the crime is their politicization of Obamacare just to destroy the Obama presidency. Here’s Cheryl’s report from the trenches in the good old pre-Obamacare days: We cannot go back to pre-ACA conditions. A cautionary reminder, lest we forget or never knew: From another’s post: I sold health insurance from 2004-2006 for one of the largest health insurance companies in ~30 states. Maybe because we’ve had ACA for a while, people don’t really remember what it was like then, but I want people to know that I declined people health insurance on a DAILY BASIS. Some of the things that resulted in automatic “DNQ” (does not qualify) determination from our underwriters, which means there was NO policy we would issue you, included (and these were all standard in the industry): – Ever, in your life, having a heart attack or stroke – Ever, in your life, receiving any sort of mental health care or substance abuse treatment in any inpatient setting (I saw a woman in her 40s declined insurance because she was a ‘cutter’ in the 1980s and was hospitalized for that, yes, more than 20 years prior) – Having a history of most (but not all) forms of cancer – Diabetes or pre-diabetes – Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative colitis – Connective tissue disorder – Autism – Obesity (Defined strictly by BMI score) – Having both high blood pressure and high cholesterol – Being pregnant (fortunately at least a lot of these women could get on Medicaid, even pre-ACA, because conservatives were worried they would just choose to have an abortion if they couldn’t pay bills from delivery). – If you were a woman of child-bearing age and you had ever given birth to a pre-term baby, we would decline coverage for YOU, even if not currently pregnant, because the risk of an additional pre-term birth was greater and we would be on the line for that in the event you did get pregnant again Other health conditions, like asthma, allergies, high blood pressure on its own, wouldn’t necessarily result in a DNQ, but would result in a permanent “rider” to your policy which mean that we agreed to cover you EXCEPT any medical bills, prescriptions, incurred related to your asthma, allergies, etc. Another odd thing I remember: sometimes fathers would get ordered by judges as part of their child support order to pay for their kids’ health insurance. But then we (and everyone else) refused to insure the kid due to health history, and they’d basically be under the threat of violating the judge’s order and maybe even going to jail. It was a very odd legal issue that I never really saw resolved. lots of times the judges would think the fathers were lying about being unable to procure insurance and were just being lazy. I think lots of people didn’t realize how crummy the individual health insurance landscape really was until they called to try to obtain it. I had to console people in tears on a regular basis. We were instructed by management to just get them off the phone as quickly as possible to free the phone line for a healthy person. One line that was popular to tell people was “well you wouldn’t ask a car insurance company to insure your car after it’s been in an accident!” but it felt incredibly heartless to compare someone’s autistic son to a car accident, so I never said that. All I could tell them to do really was either try to get in their state’s crummy and expensive “high risk pool” (if there was one, some states didn’t even have that) and write their members of Congress. Looks like we might be heading back to these lovely days.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *