TCR Editorial: Obamacare Made Insurance Companies Cover Pre-Existing Conditions, Then Locked It Down And Threw Away The Key: That’s The Only Reason It’s Still Standing Today

While Medicaid cutbacks may have been a factor, we believe public uproar would’ve been much more muted except for the threat to coverage of pre-existing conditions.

Of course, forcing everybody to buy health insurance is at the top of the “public uproar” list too. So it’s easy to see how Republicans miscalculated when they felt that would carry the day (even though all they really wanted to — except for Susan Collins — was slash Medicaid.) But as soon as it appeared they were potentially giving insurers the tools to jimmy the lock on pre-existing conditions, they were cooked. Each time.

Vox’s Sarah Kliff comes to the same conclusion. She writes in her newsletter: “Under Obamacare, Americans know that health insurers can’t deny them coverage or charge them higher premiums based on their medical history. No Republican plan could provide such an ironclad guarantee.” And she points out a Kaiser Family Foundation study which finds that more than 1 in 4 Americans “have health conditions that would likely leave them uninsurable if they applied for individual market coverage” before Obamacare. They provide this handy chart, showing even for Republicans, that coverage is now sacrosanct.

(This story originally appeared in The Chaos Report newsletter. Subscribe at: