Conyers Applauds President Obama For New Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Calls Temporary Coverage Program For Americans Without Insurance Due To Pre-Existing Conditions A Positive Step Forward Towards The Creation Of A Comprehensive Universal Health Care Program
BigNews.Biz - Jul 04,2010 - (From PoliticalNews.me)
Washington DC- Rep. John Conyers today applauded President Obama and HHS Secretary Sebelius for moving forward on an innovative new insurance plan that will provide affordable health insurance coverage for uninsured Americans who have pre-existing conditions. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced today the establishment of a new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) that will offer coverage to scores of uninsured Americans who otherwise would not be able to purchase health insurance coverage.
The Affordable Care Act provides $5 billion in federal funding to support Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans in every state. In order to give states the flexibility to best meet their needs, HHS provided states with the option of running the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan themselves or having HHS run the plan. Twenty-one states have elected to have HHS administer the plans, while 29 states and the District of Columbia have chosen to run their own programs. All states which are operating their own Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans will begin enrollment by the end of the summer, with many beginning enrollment today. Unlike SCHIP, there is no state matching requirement, and the federal government will cover the entire cost of the Pre-Existing Condition Plan.
“President Obama and HHS Secretary Sebelius should be applauded for having the courage and compassion to help so many Americans who are in desperate need of affordable health insurance coverage, but have been unable to do so only because of the actions of profit-hungry insurance companies who discriminate against the sick,” said Conyers. “For far too long, Americans with pre-existing conditions have been locked out of our health insurance market. Today, the Obama Administration’s Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan gives them a new option – the same insurance coverage as a healthy individual if they’ve been uninsured for at least six months because of a medical condition.”
I also like the fact that the new program is modeled after the highly successful SCHIP program, which is one of our nation’s most successful and effective federal health insurance plans for uninsured children. The program will cover primary and specialty care, hospital care, and prescription drugs. Participants will pay a premium that is not more than the standard individual health insurance premium in their state for insurance that covers major medical and prescription drug expenses with some cost-sharing.”
However, one of the shortcomings of this promising new program is the fact that if you are unemployed, it may be exceedingly difficult to pay the monthly premium required to participate in this program. I believe there should be access to free health care coverage for the millions of unemployed Americans who are uninsured and need this critically important program. At the moment, these individuals must wait until 2014 for Medicaid coverage or a subsidy to purchase private insurance. We could easily afford to expand SCHIP or an improved Medicaid program to the nation’s uninsured right now if we responsibly withdrew from Afghanistan, and used the billions of dollars from such a “peace