Solve for the radical
By Denis Storey
See, this is why I hate math. Numbers aren’t any more reliable than the politicians who toss them around like Scripture.
Case in point: On the eve of the House getting back to the business of repealing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the Department of Health and Human Services just happens to release a study touting the millions who’d be left out in the cold without the landmark legislation.
According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius’ number-crunchers, anywhere between 50 and 129 million Americans could be classified as having pre-existing conditions, which would — in theory — prevent them from picking up coverage in the private sector. So, without the PPACA ban on pre-existing, the scary headline hints at a nation full of sick uninsureds wandering the streets of foreclosed housing developments like the ghosts haunting some modern-day version of a Great Depression bread line.
The problem is a little law passed way back in 1996 already prevents that from happening for the vast majority of those pre-existing conditions. Yeah, I know, HillaryCare — and its epic collapse — still gets all the press, but President Clinton still managed to sign the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act into law, which prevented employer health plans from denying coverage to new employees.
I could go on, debunking these numbers and ripping the curtain aside to show you the little man blowing into the horn, playing at being the great wizard, but they’re about to vote, and I need another cup of coffee.
But I won’t leave you hanging. Check out my column in the March issue of Benefits Selling, when I’ll strip the false veneer off the rest of this so-called study.
And speaking of the magazine, make sure you take some time out to nominate your favorite colleague (or yourself) for Broker of the Year. Otherwise, I don’t want to hear any whining about who gets crowned in Nashville.