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  • Side Effects: Children Face Reduced Access to Coverage Under Obamacare

    While the Senate failed last week to pass a full repeal of Obamacare, the negative effects of the health care overhaul continue to build the case for scrapping it and starting over. Americans were told that Obamacare would open the door to medical coverage for all children. Those with preexisting conditions would become newly protected by a requirement that health insurance companies “guarantee issue” to all children 19 years old and under. No child would be denied coverage.

    But being able to get child-only coverage depends on the existence of child-only policies. And under Obamacare, this is anything but certain. A recent Republican Senate committee staff survey of state insurance departments found that 20 states no longer have insurance companies offering child-only policies. According to Politico, this is because “many carriers decided to leave the market altogether … rather than take on the burdensome cost of writing policies for potentially pricey medical conditions.”

    Obamacare prohibits insurance companies from excluding children with preexisting conditions under any circumstances. This creates the incentive for parents to delay purchasing insurance for their children until they get sick, leaving insurance companies to pick up steep medical costs. Many insurers have thus opted to forgo offering these risky policies rather than face the ruinous effects they could have on their ability to stay in business.

    Instead of expanding children’s ability to obtain coverage, then, Obamacare actually has the reverse effect. In response, California, Washington, Ohio, Indiana, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Maryland, and Colorado have provided incentives for health insurance companies to continue offering child-only plans. “Had [states] not taken aggressive action to intervene, the damage could have actually been a lot worse,” reports Politico.

    Widespread upheaval has already created more problems than it solves, which will only become worse once Obamacare eliminates preexisting-condition exclusions under any circumstance for adults as well in 2014. Instead, Congress could have targeted reform to those who are affected by applying to the individual market rules similar to those that govern employer-sponsored insurance.

    Before Obamacare was signed into law, the only individuals who could face preexisting-condition exclusions when changing plans were those who purchased coverage in the individual market. Yet individual market policies account for less than 10 percent of those covered by private insurance. Under prior law, an enrollee in an employer-sponsored plan could not be denied coverage or charged a higher premium based on health status. An enrollee also could not be subject to a preexisting-condition exclusion as long as he or she had prior coverage for at least a year.

    Thus, under employer-sponsored coverage, preexisting-condition exclusions apply only to those who do the wrong thing by going without coverage until they need it. Those who follow the rules are rewarded.

    Health care reform can fix the problem of preexisting-condition exclusions without the detrimental effects seen under the new law. To expand access to coverage for children and adults without harming existing coverage, Congress should first repeal Obamacare.

    Co-authored by Amanda Rae Kronquist.

    Kronquist is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at the Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Obamacare [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Side Effects: Children Face Reduced Access to Coverage Under Obamacare

    1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Side Effects: Children Face Reduced Access to Coverage Under Obamacare | The Foundry: Conservative Policy News. -- Topsy.com

    2. Pingback: Side Effects: Children Face Reduced Access to Coverage Under Obamacare | Big Propaganda

    3. Pingback: How it affects you « ObamaCare 411

    4. Jill, California says:

      Obamacare is also making insurance unaffordable for those of us who have individual plans. Thanks to Obama, Blue Shield's rates have "necessarily skyrocketed." My premium and my deductible are both so high that I can't afford to go to the doctor. I'd be better off without insurance were it not for the possibility of a catastrophic injury or illness. Obama is destroying our healthcare system and our country.

    5. Pingback: Must Know Headlines 2.8.2011 — ExposeTheMedia.com

    6. Larry Welch, Idaho says:

      The authors are, perhaps unintentionally, saying that Congress is the solution to the Obamacare disaster; repeal and fix. It may come to that but by far the better solution is to let the states do what they do best; take a look at the basic plan already in place in Indiana. We may need to provide a nationwide plan for assigned risk illnesses but those plans must be protected from the perverted application of the commerce clause by Congress. Let us not jump into the frying pan after having just jumped out.

      Congress must stop Obamacare and then sit on their hands.

    7. isaac pentlin, york, says:

      There is already laws in north and south that insures children. Obama care is redundent!

    8. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      From what I hear all the Medicare supplements are increasing, mine did, and when Medicare decreases in benefits (that we paid for) the supplements go up, as the goverment takes control over the fees of doctors and hospitals, those of us who pay our own way, will find it more and more difficult to pay for insurance. This is what BHO wants, then he can have his goverment run policies, Catholic Hospitals will close, those of us who live by our religion, will give up our licenses and elderly will be forced to die along with anyone taking more than their share of medical care. WE will see Polio, Typhoid, diptheria etc all become prevelent again. STOP OBAMA CARE now, return medicine to those who studied in private run schools how to cure and to those of us who paid our own way trough nursing school, because we wanted to help, keep the goverment out of MEDICINE.

    9. Bobbie says:

      isaac, totally agree. Not only does insurance for kids exist so do health programs, Also redundant in access in some states. That way the kids will be extra covered and who knows, get a check in the mail?

      Last year the government was handing out free mammograms with a $20 incentive! This government wrecklessly and carelessly spends limitless money so they can illustrate the need for more money, increase taxes in the areas government is suppose to be funding. The government oversteps their boundaries from feds to municipalities. Looking to cause crisis anywhere they can… Accountability is necessary.

    10. Gabriel says:

      sure jill and insurance premiums never went up before the bill passed. you guys are just too much fun. did you know that premiums went up over 400% since 1982. Did you know that since the bill has passed premiums have gone up 15%. did you know that the actual increase in premiums have stayed exactly the same since 1999. Did you know that heritage lies to you on a daily basis?

    11. Sue, Det., MI says:

      one of the reasons health care premiums have gone up since obamacare is because obamacare is "giving away" under the pretense of preventable healthcare free mammograms and colonoscopies. The insurance co's see this coming and know they can't compete with FREE. So they are trying to line their coffers now so they can compete and not go out of business. I think the gov't hopes they can drive private insurers out of business this way and then apply a gov't only option to obamacare. Our worst nightmare. People, please wake up, you may not have insurance, but what you get in the ER room is superior to anything you will receive under BO's medicaid to uninsured. To the uninsured I would say, get a career then get a job that gives you coverage or buy your own. Anything you get for free is never free and never very good quality. Follow the way of the world and you will be treated like an equal–living off the gov't is being a parasite on society. The rest of us should not have to part with our hard earned money to support people who don't think they have to support themselves. If you are young, join the service and earn your way. If you are older, go back to school and start a career. I did just that so I know what I'm speaking about.

    12. Pingback: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1XNdW5EbOA « ObamaCare 411

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