Below is a tidbit that was in the newsletter of the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). It's from the Department of Health and Human Services. I'd argue the problem is actually bigger than this report suggests, as it only looks at the individual insurance market, and most Americans get coverage from employers. As a result, people like me are not included in this report - people who find themselves unable to afford COBRA, and in order to maintain coverage, essentially must rid themselves of all assets to ensure long-term care of some kind. How is that in the government's best financial interest?
Here's the tidbit:
Millions Denied Coverage Because of Pre-existing Conditions
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published a new report, “Coverage Denied: How the Current Health Insurance System Leaves Millions Behind,” that examines the insurance company practice of denying coverage to Americans with pre-existing medical conditions.
A recent national survey found that 12.6 million non-elderly adults—36 percent of those who tried to buy insurance on the private market—were discriminated against in the past three years as a result of pre-existing conditions. The discrimination took the form of denial of coverage, higher premium charges, or a refusal to cover the pre-existing condition. More details can be found here: http://healthreform.gov/ reports/denied_coverage/ coveragedenied.pdf