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  • Obamacare Limits Children's Access to Care

    Last Wednesday, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee released a grim report showing a reduction in the availability of child-only policies for parents looking to purchase health insurance for their children. They findings show that, “Of the 50 states, 17 reported that there are currently no carriers selling child-only health plans to new enrollees. Thirty-nine states indicated at least one insurance carrier exited the child-only market following enactment of the new health care laws.”

    The reason for this decline in child coverage is that specific provisions of Obamacare regulating the child insurance market have made it more difficult for insurers to continue offering the plans. Obamacare creates what is commonly known as a “guarantee issue” requirement for the child-only market, which means insurers cannot deny coverage based on preexisting conditions.

    Although this intent behind this policy is obviously to expand coverage, in reality it makes it financially unsustainable for insurers to continue offering child-only health insurance due to adverse selection. As the report explains:

    Requiring carriers to sell child-only plans to anyone at any time allows individuals to wait until a child is sick and then purchase coverage. This undermines one of the fundamental principles of insurance, which allows individuals to manage risk by pooling resources to help pay for future, unpredictable expenses. If an individual can avoid paying premiums until they know they will incur an expense, it is impossible for such a system of insurance to be financially sustainable.

    If healthy individuals forego insurance, only the sickest individuals are left in insurance pools, increasing costs for insurers. This further drives up premiums and further discourages healthier individuals from participating. This is aptly referred to as the insurance “death spiral.”

    The effects of prohibiting preexisting-condition exclusions in the child-only policy market will impact all covered individuals in 2014, when the same rules will apply to adult policies as well.

    This is unnecessary. As Heritage health policy expert Ed Haislmaier outlines, Congress could enact reform that ensures that all individuals can access coverage regardless of preexisting conditions without unleashing the effects of adverse selection in the insurance market, which increase costs and reduce choice. Applying the successful rules already governing group coverage to all insurance represents a strategy that, according to Haislmaier, “fixes any legitimate problems without destabilizing health insurance markets—and in the process eliminates the rationale for retaining [Obamacare’s] unpopular and unworkable individual mandate.”

    Co-authored by Kyle Rusciano, 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/internships-young-leaders/the-heritage-foundation-internship-program

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    17 Responses to Obamacare Limits Children's Access to Care

    1. Tracy Thorleifson says:

      Surely if the government can compel a citizen to purchase health insurance, it can compel insurance providers to provide insurance to anyone at any time. Isn't that what centrally planned, redistributionist economies are all about? You can't have socialism without control of the means of production, can you? Isn't that what the PPACA is all about? Oops. Gee, Mr. President, I hope I haven't let the cat out of the bag…

    2. Bobbie says:

      could somebody remind us what good obamacare is for? seems to be none? and for who is it going to benefit? seems awfully expensive and extremely complex for so many to give up so much so few don't have to pay?!

      Wouldn't it be more effective and efficient to teach people to be personally responsible by holding people accountable to their own health care expenses? Let private practices run by their own rules without government!, then it would cost the states and federal government zero dollars!!! Getting rid of this unconstitutional government take-over would stop the waste of time, stress and everyone elses money…

    3. Glen says:

      And you point here "points" to the reason why you need a requirement for everyone to have insurance. If a parent decides not to purchase insurance and the child gets cancer, what then? Would you say to a sick child, "Sorry, your parent is irresponsible. You lose."? They will be treated either way. One is with "charity" ultimately funded by government payments and one is by a collective (sounds communistic, doesn't it?) insurance pool funded by everyone.

      • Todd says:

        Government funding is not charity or "charity". This is another example of where America has lost its way. Have you ever heard of the The Shriner's Children's Hospital? Just one example of charity. Government does not do charity.

      • Lloyd Scallan says:

        Glen – Spoken like a ture communist. But you fail to mention "government payments" is our tax dollars.
        You want to pay for someone's child care, send them a check. I paid for mine without help. I don't intend to pay for any child that was created because two people could not control their emotions.

        • Glen says:

          Seriously Lloyd? You would just walk away from a dying child because the parents are irresponsible? That was the promise to a destitute child 175 years ago! Still the same debate.

          To quote Dickens:

          `At this festive season of the year, Mr. Scrooge,' said the gentleman, taking up a pen, `it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and Destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.'

          `Are there no prisons?' asked Scrooge.

          `Plenty of prisons,' said the gentleman, laying down the pen again.

          `And the Union workhouses?' demanded Scrooge. `Are they still in operation?'

          `They are. Still,' returned the gentleman, `I wish I could say they were not.'

          `The Treadmill and the Poor Law are in full vigour, then?' said Scrooge.

          `Both very busy, sir.'

          `Oh! I was afraid, from what you said at first, that something had occurred to stop them in their useful course,' said Scrooge. `I'm very glad to hear it.'

      • Bobbie says:

        Roger is absolutely right, Glen. obamacare or insurance paper, isn't going to make a child with cancer feel any better? It's not going to cure it. It's going to stress them out to have to deal with the endless ugly government paperwork and forced obligation to trust government? No thanks. Government intrusion is just that, intrusion. Bureaucrats aren't doctors and only look for cost savings!! so the real concern of government involvement is "sorry, we can't help you." or "we no longer provide that medicine." Or "your operation is not something we provide for." or "your cancer will not be cured" due to politics or "your chronic illness is no longer chronic, it's terminal." No thanks, Glen. Government wastes alot of money and looks for ways to waste more. It's important people have personal health care in their personal control without having government and their mandates, rules and regulations, anywhere in between!!

    4. Roger says:

      Hippocratic oath ensures care – and charitable organizations fund the care. Therefore, what benefit is provided by the mandate?

      • Glen says:

        Hippocratic oath only applies to docs. Not for-profit hospitals. Not every community is serviced by a charitable organization. Not everyone has access to preventative care. Emergency room as first provider of services is incredibly inefficient and adds to overall cost of healthcare. Guess where the extra costs are made up? The smaller pool of insured and their insurance companies end up paying more.
        The mandate would provide a complete pool. Healthcare truly is a "public good" in the economist's definition. People don't have to pay today, but they will receive some level of treatment just the same.

        The problem is one of best use of all healthcare dollars spent. I would argue that mandating some level of coverage will reduce the overall impact of costs to the US (both Govt and non-govt).

        Vaccines for children are a great example of a govt program that saved billions in the long run–think of the costs of treating polio. Or not treating polio because you don't have insurance. Watching your child die a slow death.

        I prefer to think of a complete solution. It really is a fundamental discussion about what it means to be American. Do you have access to the same level of care, both rich or poor? Probably never. But we can do better and spend less to lift up those who are most in need. Starting with children and coverage for everyone.

        No rhetoric here. No bashing opposing views. Let's have a real discussion without name calling.

        • Bobbie says:

          Glen, vaccines, pandemics, those are public issues and should be the duty of government under the "general welfare clause." As it is a "general welfare" issue. "Personal health care" should never be a government control. People do die, it's the process of life that no tax dollars or government insurance or the best government doctors in the world can stop.

          My doctor said a similar statement to me once, Glen. He knows I'm against this socialized medicine. He said "what's going to happen when you need that operation?" I said, "if I can't find any resources, I die." But to have government interfere in my health when they are nothing but more and wasted costs to me, where I'm mandated for certain procedures whether I need it or not, just to benefit people who aren't willed to take care of their own?? NO THANKS!!!!!! My health is already costing over twice as much since this phony obamacare. Meds are given up because of a lack of affordability. Hold people accountable to their own costs, so medical expenses aren't distorted and the chronically ill who take personal responsibility for their own, aren't taken advantage of.

        • Bobbie says:

          Glen, I'm sorry for being so selfish. this is about the children and a concern about your collective reasoning. think to yourself, when have you EVER heard of a child being denied ANY kind of CARE? EVER! this is coercion by government to get your emotions to fall for it.

          The complete solution is personal, parental responsibility in a free market with discretionary price controls regarding health costs. The government takes and spends freely from any tax funds available. You did witness that, didn't you? The government sets their own priorities. You did witness, that didn't you? And as much as you think the government is keeping us healthy, we could be poisoned! It's in the control of government who's control can implement a crisis anywhere!

          Charities aren't accessible in some communities but charities are accessible and easy to find and accommodating for the most part.

          government isn't the cure, Glen. they're the disease! do for yourself what you can and keep government out of your freedom! Trust your fellow American over government at all times!

    5. Jeanne Stotler says:

      I don't know where the notion came from that people were denied care. As a nurse, mother I know that every ER that is in a hospital, that recieved federal funds, is required to render care, if it's a private hospital they MUST stabilize a patient before transfering. There are free clinics, and low cost clinics in most locations. I have seen where parents just wait until a situation turns critical before getting help, and some just don't give a DA–, Still this is not the goverments job to furnish healthcare for some at the expense of others. We have the best here in USA, otherwise why are they coming from Canada and other countries here??

    6. Lloyd Scallan says:

      Pelosi said it. Now that they passed it and we read every day what's in it. what do we do now?

      • Vivian Greer says:

        We pay more for premiums, etc get less care. Everything to do with health care will go up in price and no care due to fewer Drs.

    7. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      You say that the intent behind this policy is to expand coverage. You are being too kind. I think we are witnessing the intent of this policy…the elimination of private insurance. As they have no choice but to restrict coverage, leave states and go out of business, people will turn to none other than their benevolent federal government for help. Candidate Obama is on record saying he desires a single-payer system. Repeal Obamacare!

    8. Jonathan says:

      Kathryn, thank you very much for being willing to tell the truth about what Obamacare is really doing to children. My family was personally adversely affected by this new rule, http://www.ocpathink.org/articles/809.

      In January, when I was looking for child only policies for my daughters, who are perfectly healthy, no insurer would sell us a policy, because of this new rule that requires insurers to sell coverage to any child regardless of their health. As I wrote about my family’s story, this provision is like requiring property insurance companies to begin covering a home after it has started burning, or to begin covering a car that has already been wrecked in an accident.

      Obamacare, even though not fully implemented until January 1, 2014, has grave consequences. Let’s hope that both citizens and lawmakers do not lose site of the current and future destructive consequences of Obamacare, and that this focus results in the complete repeal of Obamacare.

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