As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Jon Kyl - Objectively Pro-Discrimination

Under current law, health insurance companies can deny you coverage if they decide you actually might use a doctor. They can discriminate against broad classes of Amercians based on what they call in insurance-speak a "pre-existing condition." They can even go back after you turn in a claim and find some typo in your medical history form that allows them to dump you from the coverage rolls.

Jon Kyl, the #2 Republican in the Senate, thinks this is all fine and dandy.

The distance between the parties' leaders on health care was made clear on Tuesday when the No. 2 Republican in the Senate held a conference call with reporters.

Asked by ABC News about a package of insurance market reforms that have been endorsed not only by President Obama but also by the insurance industry, Sen. Jon Kyl came out against all three proposals.

In particular, the Arizona Republican signaled that he opposes requiring insurance companies nationwide to provide coverage without regard to pre-existing conditions; requiring them to charge everyone the same rate regardless of health status; and requiring all Americans to carry health insurance.

"One of the concerns I have about the approach of the Democrats ... is an assumption that there has to be a national mandate on all insurers to do various things," Kyl told ABC News when asked for his position the three issues.

"Those are techniques that states can, and some have, used in the past with fairly disastrous consequences," he said.

Part of what community rating would ban is allowing companies to charge women more money for health insurance, because they may use more care. And actuarial statistics show that the poor have a higher propensity for sickness due to environment and food choices, which means that they are discriminated against at a higher proportion in the insurance market. That's the system Jon Kyl wants to keep in place - a segregated system where large segments of society cannot even have the option of health insurance.

Even the insurance industry supports guaranteed issue and community rating. They want that along with a forced-market monopoly, with no competition from a public insurance option, so that the government can subsidize their businesses and turn people who cannot afford health insurance into criminals. But that would be LESS RADICAL than what Jon Kyl is proposing.

These are the people with whom we must engage in bipartisanship, or so it is told.

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