Thursday, January 21, 2010

Jan. 21: Ban Health Insurance Discrimination

By Sylvia Gurinsky

As Congress and President Barack Obama mull how to proceed with health care legislation, there is one issue they can probably take care of immediately, without much chance for a filibuster:

Banning discrimination by health insurance companies against people who either have preexisting conditions or a genetic predisposition to an illness.

The current health care bills being considered for reconciliation would do so - but in 2013. Not good enough. That also goes for the six-month window for banning insurance discrimination against children.

One of the reasons the current bills are in such trouble are because they are compliated - and fixated on the issues of cost. Ensuring - and insuring - that people who are ill have a real chance at quality care will begin to lower those costs.

Long ago, the United States Supreme Court ruled the practice of banning people from jobs on the basis of their health illegal. Why should insurance companies be able to get away with the same thing?

They shouldn't, of course. The revised health insurance bill should ban health discrimination immediately.

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