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March 29, 2010

NYTimes Weeps: Obama Lied About Coverage Now for Children With Preexisting Conditions

Okay, so the Times doesn't say "lie" and it strongly implies that this is somehow insurers' fault (link is to the Corner). But the options are really quite limited. Either (1) Obama lied; or (2) Obama was freaking ignorant about what the ObamaCare bill did.

Contrary to the what President Obama told crowd after crowd, the Affordable Care Act does not immediately mandate that insurers offer coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. It only says any coverage that is offered to children cannot include exclusions for the treatment of such conditions.

HHS Secretary Sebelius says she will issue regulations clarifying that the law guarantees access to coverage. But again, it is far from clear that the law does any such thing, and federal regulations have no force if they go beyond or against that law (sort of like executive orders!).

This is what you get when you rush thousand-page bills through without giving anyone a chance to look at them, adding amendments and alterations in legislative-ese up until the last minute.

ObamaCare says that starting this year if an insurer issues a policy for a child (most likely as part of a family policy), the insurer must cover the child's preexisting conditions. But it does not say that insurers must issue policies for all children (or children as part of family policies) who want them.

HHS can regulate all it wants, but "guaranteed issue" doesn't kick in until 2014, even for children.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:34 PM

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