Pre-Existing Confusion

It is stunning to watch Republicans being put on the defensive time and time again by the "Pre-Existing Conditions" argument.

Every word has meaning and power:

The inherent power of (a) word is a phenomenon that has been both omnipresent and essential throughout the long histories of literature, philosophy, religion and politics.

Aside from using the free ride to be given to the under-26 crowd, the most common club used on our team is the nonsense that the existence of a pre-existing condition must not restrict or deny a person's "right" to health insurance.

The very utterance of that notion conveys ignorance of the meanings of insurance -- namely, "[c]overage by a contract binding a party to indemnify another against specified loss in return for premiums paid[.]"

Then there's the meaning of insurance contract:

... includes, at a minimum, the following elements: identification of participating parties (the insurer, the insured, the beneficiaries), the premium, the period of coverage, the particular loss event covered, the amount of coverage (i.e., the amount to be paid to the insured or beneficiary in the event of a loss), and exclusions (events not covered). An insured is thus said to be "indemnified" against the loss covered in the policy.

And actuarial risk:

Risk that a calculated model of an insurance policy, which includes the frequency, severity and correlation of losses, may be inaccurate or subject to unforeseen events. Also called insurance risk.

And, of course, Pre-Existing Condition:

... a risk with extant causes that is not readily compensated by standard, affordable insurance premiums. Pre-existing condition exclusions by the insurance industry are meant to cope with adverse selection by potential customers. Such exclusions have become a topic in the health care reform debate in the United States in 2009 and 2010. Several surveys over that period have shown a very strong opposition to the exclusions and support for banning them.

Let's look at some situations wherein the word "pre-existing" is a factor:

Take the case of John, a typical person with coverage for his diabetes by his employer's insurer, who leaves his current employer, Jack, to go to work for Jim.  Coverage for that pre-existing condition, diabetes, by Jim's insurer is a common situation for which there are many current and proposed remedies that are less drastic than ObamaTax.  Similar remedies are also currently available in the case of John's leaving Jack for self-employment or no employment.

Or take the case of Jerry, a working or non-working person who has no health insurance and who falls off his bike and breaks his head open.  Currently Jerry is uninsured, so he should be out of luck if he goes to an insurance broker, Jake, and tells Jake he wants to buy insurance to cover that pre-existing condition -- to wit, his cracked head.  Jerry's case is, unfortunately for us, the prime example upon which the hellacious monster, ObamaTax, is based, because Jerry is often unable, himself, to pay for treatment for his cracked head.  A simple remedy, beyond that which exists today -- payment for his treatment by you and me -- cannot easily be forged, but that cannot be an intellectually honest rationale for the monster.

Likewise, Jerry should be denied fire insurance by Jake for his house that has the pre-existing condition of having been destroyed by fire the night before Jerry went to see Jake, and no rational person argues that he should not be denied that coverage.

Similarly, Jerry should be denied health insurance by Jake for his diagnosis of diabetes if he received that diagnosis from Dr. Joseph the day before he asked Jake to sell him insurance for the pre-existing condition of diabetes.

In any contrary instance, insurance is not actually insurance at all, but rather single-payer, socialistic, National Health Service-like universal coverage.

Or, with deference to Clausewitz, ObamaTax is a continuation of single-payer, socialistic, National Health Service-like universal coverage by other means.

However, in this case, it is also a pack of lies, as Clark Judge explains here in his weekly column on Hugh Hewitt's blog:

Whatever else it did or didn't do, Chief Justice John Roberts's Obamacare opinion had the effect of cutting away major deceptions and hypocrisies surrounding the president's health industry takeover legislation....

For from the first, the administration has attempted to protect the truth about the 2,700-page Affordable Care Act with - in Winston Churchill's characterization of very different protections for very different truths in very different times - a bodyguard of lies.

In other words, though hidden in the statute by what was, essentially, legal rhetoric, the truth was this: Congress did not pass a mandate and a penalty. It passed a universal, single-payer national health plan, funded via a dedicated tax, with an opt-out provision.

CBS, establishing that it considers prime talent someone NBC cum MSNBC declined to fight hard to keep from leaving, had Norah O'Donnell substitute for the chronically confused Bob Schieffer on a program nobody watches this past Sunday.

Newsbusters chronicles one part of the disaster here and O'Donnell's interview with Speaker John Boehner here, with the key exchange being:

O'DONNELL: What about preexisting conditions? What about the millions of Americans that have preexisting conditions and are discriminated against? [Emphasis the author's.]

BOEHNER: We believe that the way it is done within ObamaCare is -- is pushing the cost of health insurance for all Americans much too high. We believe that the state high-risk pools are a much more effective way to making sure that those with preexisting conditions have access to affordable health insurance.


O'DONNELL: Access to affordable health insurance, but you're not saying you would be for a law that would prevent discrimination of those individuals?


BOEHNER: No, we just believe there's a better way to make sure that they have affordable access to quality health insurance.

No, Mr. Speaker, the answer to that nonsense by you and every other Republican from now until November 6 (and even beyond) is: Norah or David or Bob or Chris or whoever, do you really believe that Jerry would be being discriminated against by Jake if Jake declines to sell Jerry fire insurance for his house that has the pre-existing condition of having been destroyed by fire the night before Jerry went to see Jake?  Huh,  Norah?  Huh,  David?  Huh,  Bob?  Huh.  Chris?

O'Donnell and her ilk and those around the Preezy of the United Steezy may well believe that nonsense, for none of them have real-world experiences, but that's no excuse for letting them get away with saying it.

Given that the deck that is stacked against them, and given their history fighting wars of words (remember the "school lunch" battles), I am less than sanguine that the Republicans will turn the club to a sword, but, hey, maybe Reince Preibus will read this and do as good a job of changing the direction of the rhetorical dialogue as he has with that of fundraising:

At the end of 2010, as Michael Steele's tenure as chairman was drawing to a close, the Republican National Committee's prospects looked bleak. The organization was $23 million in debt, despite the enthusiasm and grassroots energy that had propelled the GOP to historic electoral gains.

But in the past year and a half, with the RNC under the leadership of Reince Preibus, the fundraising dynamic has completely changed. In May, for instance, the RNC raised $34 million, $14 million more than the DNC raised in the same period. And the RNC had $61 million in cash on hand to the DNC's $31 million.

Hope springs eternal.  After all, I once succeeded, with much gnashing of teeth and twisting of arms, to get my staff to say "Allow to take possession of the yacht a day early" rather than "Sleep aboard" when the hotel was full and late arrivals to the resort did not have rooms.

The author once managed a charter yacht fleet and resort in the Caribbean.

It is stunning to watch Republicans being put on the defensive time and time again by the "Pre-Existing Conditions" argument.

Every word has meaning and power:

The inherent power of (a) word is a phenomenon that has been both omnipresent and essential throughout the long histories of literature, philosophy, religion and politics.

Aside from using the free ride to be given to the under-26 crowd, the most common club used on our team is the nonsense that the existence of a pre-existing condition must not restrict or deny a person's "right" to health insurance.

The very utterance of that notion conveys ignorance of the meanings of insurance -- namely, "[c]overage by a contract binding a party to indemnify another against specified loss in return for premiums paid[.]"

Then there's the meaning of insurance contract:

... includes, at a minimum, the following elements: identification of participating parties (the insurer, the insured, the beneficiaries), the premium, the period of coverage, the particular loss event covered, the amount of coverage (i.e., the amount to be paid to the insured or beneficiary in the event of a loss), and exclusions (events not covered). An insured is thus said to be "indemnified" against the loss covered in the policy.

And actuarial risk:

Risk that a calculated model of an insurance policy, which includes the frequency, severity and correlation of losses, may be inaccurate or subject to unforeseen events. Also called insurance risk.

And, of course, Pre-Existing Condition:

... a risk with extant causes that is not readily compensated by standard, affordable insurance premiums. Pre-existing condition exclusions by the insurance industry are meant to cope with adverse selection by potential customers. Such exclusions have become a topic in the health care reform debate in the United States in 2009 and 2010. Several surveys over that period have shown a very strong opposition to the exclusions and support for banning them.

Let's look at some situations wherein the word "pre-existing" is a factor:

Take the case of John, a typical person with coverage for his diabetes by his employer's insurer, who leaves his current employer, Jack, to go to work for Jim.  Coverage for that pre-existing condition, diabetes, by Jim's insurer is a common situation for which there are many current and proposed remedies that are less drastic than ObamaTax.  Similar remedies are also currently available in the case of John's leaving Jack for self-employment or no employment.

Or take the case of Jerry, a working or non-working person who has no health insurance and who falls off his bike and breaks his head open.  Currently Jerry is uninsured, so he should be out of luck if he goes to an insurance broker, Jake, and tells Jake he wants to buy insurance to cover that pre-existing condition -- to wit, his cracked head.  Jerry's case is, unfortunately for us, the prime example upon which the hellacious monster, ObamaTax, is based, because Jerry is often unable, himself, to pay for treatment for his cracked head.  A simple remedy, beyond that which exists today -- payment for his treatment by you and me -- cannot easily be forged, but that cannot be an intellectually honest rationale for the monster.

Likewise, Jerry should be denied fire insurance by Jake for his house that has the pre-existing condition of having been destroyed by fire the night before Jerry went to see Jake, and no rational person argues that he should not be denied that coverage.

Similarly, Jerry should be denied health insurance by Jake for his diagnosis of diabetes if he received that diagnosis from Dr. Joseph the day before he asked Jake to sell him insurance for the pre-existing condition of diabetes.

In any contrary instance, insurance is not actually insurance at all, but rather single-payer, socialistic, National Health Service-like universal coverage.

Or, with deference to Clausewitz, ObamaTax is a continuation of single-payer, socialistic, National Health Service-like universal coverage by other means.

However, in this case, it is also a pack of lies, as Clark Judge explains here in his weekly column on Hugh Hewitt's blog:

Whatever else it did or didn't do, Chief Justice John Roberts's Obamacare opinion had the effect of cutting away major deceptions and hypocrisies surrounding the president's health industry takeover legislation....

For from the first, the administration has attempted to protect the truth about the 2,700-page Affordable Care Act with - in Winston Churchill's characterization of very different protections for very different truths in very different times - a bodyguard of lies.

In other words, though hidden in the statute by what was, essentially, legal rhetoric, the truth was this: Congress did not pass a mandate and a penalty. It passed a universal, single-payer national health plan, funded via a dedicated tax, with an opt-out provision.

CBS, establishing that it considers prime talent someone NBC cum MSNBC declined to fight hard to keep from leaving, had Norah O'Donnell substitute for the chronically confused Bob Schieffer on a program nobody watches this past Sunday.

Newsbusters chronicles one part of the disaster here and O'Donnell's interview with Speaker John Boehner here, with the key exchange being:

O'DONNELL: What about preexisting conditions? What about the millions of Americans that have preexisting conditions and are discriminated against? [Emphasis the author's.]

BOEHNER: We believe that the way it is done within ObamaCare is -- is pushing the cost of health insurance for all Americans much too high. We believe that the state high-risk pools are a much more effective way to making sure that those with preexisting conditions have access to affordable health insurance.


O'DONNELL: Access to affordable health insurance, but you're not saying you would be for a law that would prevent discrimination of those individuals?


BOEHNER: No, we just believe there's a better way to make sure that they have affordable access to quality health insurance.

No, Mr. Speaker, the answer to that nonsense by you and every other Republican from now until November 6 (and even beyond) is: Norah or David or Bob or Chris or whoever, do you really believe that Jerry would be being discriminated against by Jake if Jake declines to sell Jerry fire insurance for his house that has the pre-existing condition of having been destroyed by fire the night before Jerry went to see Jake?  Huh,  Norah?  Huh,  David?  Huh,  Bob?  Huh.  Chris?

O'Donnell and her ilk and those around the Preezy of the United Steezy may well believe that nonsense, for none of them have real-world experiences, but that's no excuse for letting them get away with saying it.

Given that the deck that is stacked against them, and given their history fighting wars of words (remember the "school lunch" battles), I am less than sanguine that the Republicans will turn the club to a sword, but, hey, maybe Reince Preibus will read this and do as good a job of changing the direction of the rhetorical dialogue as he has with that of fundraising:

At the end of 2010, as Michael Steele's tenure as chairman was drawing to a close, the Republican National Committee's prospects looked bleak. The organization was $23 million in debt, despite the enthusiasm and grassroots energy that had propelled the GOP to historic electoral gains.

But in the past year and a half, with the RNC under the leadership of Reince Preibus, the fundraising dynamic has completely changed. In May, for instance, the RNC raised $34 million, $14 million more than the DNC raised in the same period. And the RNC had $61 million in cash on hand to the DNC's $31 million.

Hope springs eternal.  After all, I once succeeded, with much gnashing of teeth and twisting of arms, to get my staff to say "Allow to take possession of the yacht a day early" rather than "Sleep aboard" when the hotel was full and late arrivals to the resort did not have rooms.

The author once managed a charter yacht fleet and resort in the Caribbean.

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