Senate Health Bill Would Wreck the Individual Insurance Market

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This is tentative, but….

I’ve just taken a quick look at the Senate health care bill. Neither preexisting nor continuous are anywhere in the bill. None of the section titles deal with preexisting conditions. It doesn’t appear that the Senate bill affects Obamacare’s protections for preexisting conditions at all. This is almost certainly because the Senate parliamentarian ruled that it had nothing to do with spending or outlays, and therefore couldn’t be included in a reconciliation bill.

The Senate bill also abolishes Obamacare’s individual mandate penalties. The net result is that if this bill passes, people will be free to go without insurance while they’re healthy, and then buy insurance if and when they get seriously ill. This is a disaster for the health insurance industry.

I don’t see how insurance companies can continue to dither at this point. The Senate bill would almost certainly be a huge financial blow to anyone who stays in the individual insurance business, and since the wording is driven by reconciliation rules it means that any final bill negotiated with the House would have to be the same. They can’t possibly accept this, can they?

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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