According to the LAT, the GOP presidential candidates have come up with a brilliant way of offering insurance to the uninsured: leave out those with pre-existing conditions, including people with medical histories just like the candidates' themselves.
When Rudolph W. Giuliani was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the spring of 2000, one thing he did not have to worry about was a lack of medical insurance.
Today, the former New York mayor joins two other cancer survivors in seeking the Republican presidential nomination: Arizona Sen. John McCain has been treated for melanoma, the most serious type of skin malignancy, and former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson had lymphoma, a cancer of the immune system.
All three have offered proposals with the stated aim of helping the 47 million people in the U.S. who have no health insurance, including those with preexisting medical conditions.
But under the plans all three have put forward, cancer survivors such as themselves could not be sure of getting coverage -- especially if they were not already covered by a government or job-related plan and had to seek insurance as individuals.
"Unless it's in a state that has very strong consumer protections, they would likely be denied coverage," said economist Paul Fronstin of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, who has reviewed the candidates' proposals. "People with preexisting conditions would not be able to get coverage or would not be able to afford it."
I was drawn to the article because I'm one of those the article explains would be denied health care coverage in almost all cases.
An expert with access to a manual that insurers use to make coverage decisions said that most companies wouldn't consider a cancer survivor for 10 years, with some exceptions, and then would only issue a policy at a higher premium.
Nice to know I can always escape to Ireland if I lose my healthcare.
But in reading it, I wanted to recommend it because it is really the kind of coverage we need for a presidential election. It is informative, explaining in several different ways why and how cancer survivors cannot find affordable healthcare. It tells voters--in terms that put the voter at the center of the debate--information critical to assessing the candidates. And it's a great story, using the cancer history of three leading candidates to emphasize the gaps in their plans.
It's so rare we see good reporting on the presidential race, this article deserves attention.