The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, prohibited insurers from turning away consumers with pre-existing medical conditions, a practice that was once standard in the industry.

Among the conditions that once commonly made insurers deny coverage, according to a list assembled by the nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, were:

• AIDS/HIV
• Lupus
• Alcohol abuse/drug abuse with recent treatment
• Mental disorders
• Alzheimer’s/dementia
• Multiple sclerosis
• Arthritis (rheumatoid), fibromyalgia, other inflammatory joint disease
• Muscular dystrophy
• Cancer within some period of time (e.g., 10 years)
• Cerebral palsy
• Severe obesity
• Organ transplant
• Congestive heart failure
• Paraplegia
• Coronary artery/heart disease, bypass surgery
• Paralysis
• Crohn’s disease/ulcerative colitis
• Parkinson’s disease
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)/emphysema
• Pending surgery or hospitalization
• Diabetes mellitus
• Pneumocystic pneumonia
• Epilepsy
• Pregnancy or expectant parent
• Hemophilia
• Sleep apnea
• Hepatitis C
• Stroke
• Kidney disease, renal failure
• Transsexualism

The American Health Care Act, as the House Republican health care bill is called, does not explicitly eliminate Obamacare’s coverage guarantee.

But the bill would allow states to obtain a waiver from the federal government to eliminate another Obamacare mandate that prohibits insurers from charging people with pre-existing medical conditions more for insurance.

That means that some people with pre-existing medical conditions could see their premiums spike dramatically, if the House-passed bill becomes law.

In other words, a patient with diabetes, heart disease or cancer might still be “guaranteed” coverage, but only if he or she agreed to pay five or 10 times as much for a health plan.


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