I can’t even

I just can’t. From Fox News, a doctor from Memorial Sloan Kettering – where they treat CANCER – is arguing that because people aren’t penalized with higher premiums and worse coverage when they’re sick, they’re not inclined to be healthy. She’s basically arguing that guaranteed issue and community ratings because of the ACA have led to worse outcomes. Just watch.

Where to start? How about this – I’m not at fault for having ulcerative colitis. I didn’t cause it. It’s not my fault. I shouldn’t have to pay more for my health insurance because of it. I wrote about this at Vox a few years ago.

What about kids? Should they have to pay more if they’re sick? Is it their fault?

Even if you think it’s their “fault”, social determinants of health come into play here. Should we penalize poorer people with higher premiums or reduced coverage?

Most Americans get private insurance through their jobs. They’ve been getting community-rated, guaranteed issue insurance for years. It’s really only in the exchanges where things changed in 2014. The logical conclusion from this argument isn’t that we should get rid of the ACA. It’s that we should get rid of ALL community-rated, guaranteed issue insurance, right? Is that what she’s advocating?

Pretty much every other country, even the ones that have really private insurance systems, do community-rated, guaranteed issue insurance. Is there any evidence at all that this is hurting their outcomes?

I’m just baffled. And I’m annoyed. I bet this physician gets community-rated, guaranteed issue insurance from her job. Does she think it’s bad?

While we’re at it, is she advocating that Medicare should be individually rated?

I wrote this a few years ago, too, when a Congressman made a similar argument. It still stands:

I expect that this Congressman will soon be issuing a statement saying he was “taken out of context”. Something along the lines of “he misspoke”. But maybe not. Maybe he does believe what he said, that people who did things the right way are the ones who are healthy. If that’s the case, then I have just one question for him.

What did the baby born prematurely, the one with congenital heart disease, or the toddler with sickle cell disease, or the child with autism, or the little girl with leukemia, or the boy with asthma, or the adolescent with juvenile arthritis, or the young woman with lupus, or the young man with testicular cancer, or the new mother with breast cancer, or the new father with inflammatory bowel disease, or the woman with familial heart disease, or the man with early onset Parkinson’s disease, or the retiring woman with Alzheimer’s disease, or the elderly man with lymphoma – what did they do wrong?

Did they lead bad lives?

I guess I had two questions. Take your time answering. I’ll wait.


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