The Associated Press has found some “big gaps” in Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s healthcare plan. According to analysts, at best Romney’s plan may or may not help people with pre-existing conditions get coverage.
The former Massachusetts governor’s plan would be a boost for those who keep continuous coverage. But studies have shown that those people are a scant fraction of people at risk for getting turned down because of medical problems.
More than 70 percent of the uninsured have been without coverage for a year or longer, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Under Romney’s plan, if a person had a significant break in coverage, an insurer could look through years of their health care records to successfully turn down applicants or terminate existing coverage based on anything they found that could be considered a risk.
President Barack Obama’s health care law, conversely, guarantees that people in poor health can get comprehensive coverage at the same rates everybody else pays. That provision is written into the law.
Starting Jan. 1, 2014, an insurer “may not impose any pre-existing condition exclusion,” the act states.
These are all assumptions because the Romney campaign has not yet provided specific details other than that his plan would help those who have maintained continuous coverage. His plan would change the current system, but may or may not decrease the number of uninsured.
Currently there are 49 million people in the US who don’t have health insurance.
“It will solve some of the problems,” said health economist Gail Wilensky, a longtime adviser to Republicans told the Associated Press. “It won’t solve the problem of people having gone for a long time without health insurance.”
That’s because many people aren’t able to keep up continuous coverage. Losing health insurance is typically connected to serious household troubles like job loss or divorce that typically relegate insurance coverage to the back burner.