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Cheap health insurance in Nebraska for pre-existing conditions

The politicians on the right attack everything about Obamacare as being the spawn of the Devil, inviting all those active in their local communities to find ways of opposing the arrival of death panels and the slightly less threatening insurance exchanges. Let's not get into the debate that starts with the fact Obama used Mitt Romney's law as a model for the federal law. No matter who first implemented which version of a mandate, this can all wait for the next Presidential election when it looks as though Mitt Romney may be picked to run as the GOP's candidate (well, anything's possible). Let's instead focus on a simple issue we can all understand.

Insurance companies are for-profit so anything that threatens the bottom line is automatically "bad". In an ideal world, companies would only insure the health of those people who never fall ill or have an accident. That way, all the premium income would be potential profit (once those pesky employees have been paid for doing nothing). Except no one can guarantee they will never have a day of illness or need some treatment as they get older. So, to shade the odds in their favor, the companies have consistently refused cover to everyone who has a pre-existing condition. Let's face it, if people are already ill, they are going to want regular drugs and treatment just to keep them functioning. Better still, if the companies really spread the definition of "condition", they can catch a whole range of minor problems and use them all as an excuse to refuse cover, no matter how unfair that might be.

So along comes Obamacare and, at a stroke, this instructs insurers to stop this practice. First as far as children and young adults are concerned. Adults come later. Needless to say there was a wailing and gnashing of teeth as the insurers insisted this change would put them out of business. So why look at Nebraska on this? Well, this Great Plains state has Dave Heineman and Rick Sheehy as governor and and lieutenant governor - both Republicans in a solidly Republican state - so it's always interesting to see what Republicans do when told to implement a law which they ought to oppose root and branch.

Well, this February saw a positive change. Instead of having to wait for an insurer to refuse cover because of a pre-existing condition, a doctor can simply confirm its existence and this allows entry into the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP). This plan offers access to a substantial network of primary and secondary care. More importantly, access is not conditional on means, nor are people charged a higher premium. In fact, the premium rates for PCIP members have dropped by 20%.

Some might suggest this is a better standard of care than those on a private plan. For Republicans what rubs more salt into the wound is that there’s a new drive to get even more people enrolled into PCIP. It seems Republicans support some bits of the President’s health insurance law but deny others. What we see in Nebraska is ironic. Instead of making access to PCIP difficult, the Republicans are encouraging ever more people to enroll in the state’s health insurance plan.


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