From From THINK PROGRESS:
Ensuring that insurers don’t reject any American for health coverage because of a pre-existing condition is a top priority of the public. Republicans have repeatedly said that they also want to make this change, but in the alternative legislation they released, Americans with pre-existing conditions would still be left out to dry.
Today on CNN, FreedomWorks head Dick Armey defended the industry’s discriminatory practices by saying that if you have diabetes because you “eat like a pig,” you don’t deserve coverage:
ARMEY: But now, they [government officials] come along and they say, irrespective of the fact they’ve gone 20, 30, 40 years of their adult life without ever having bought insurance prior to getting a liver inflammation due to their excessive drinking habits or diabetes because they eat like a pig, you must now insure them.
In reality, these pre-existing conditions that can disqualify people from receiving health insurance often have nothing to do with unhealthy lifestyle choices — and they disproportionately target women. Some pre-existing conditions are having a Caesarean-section pregnancy, being a victim of domestic violence, or being a victim of rape. Most individual health insurance markets don’t even cover maternity care. Other pre-existing conditions that insurers have used to either deny people outright or charge exorbitant fees for coverage include being an expectant father, having acne, or being a police officer.
Many Republicans, like Armey, seem unable to grasp that denial based on pre-existing conditions is discriminatory. Last week, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) said that insurers are justified in charging women more than men because we’re “all different.” He then compared a woman to a “smoker” and a man to a “non-smoker” to argue that insurers should be allowed to discriminate.
(Transcript and video at THINK PROGRESS link above)