Who would ever guess that a super rich white guy is in favor of screwing the general public? This has always been one of the most annoying aspects of the old US healthcare system because with few exceptions, everyone has a pre-existing condition (keep in mind that asthma, high cholesterol, even exczema could be considered a pre-existing condition precluding you from getting insurance).
If you're a rich guy like Romney, it's not a concern because it's easy to buy your way out of the problem. For everyone else, you have to wonder about the financial impact during an already stressful financial time that Paul Krugman is now calling a depression.
For all of the noise Romney made about Obama's poor choice of words last week when he said the private economy is doing "fine", this is much worse. This is a candidate talking about rolling back one of the provisions of Obamacare that people like and desperately need. Unlike the old days, most working families today change jobs often (compared to other parts of the world) which means signing up for new insurance plans each time you change jobs (and if you lose your job you eventuality lose your insurance).
Imagine the fun when you reach midlife and have kids and then discover you suddenly have a gaping hole in your insurance plan. This is a really big deal and it impacts almost every American. Romney continues to believe in insurance fantasy land where a few tweaks somehow make the problem go away.
When asked by the Huffington Post about their plan for pre-existing conditions, they did provide a response:
Fixing our health care system means making sure that every American, regardless of their health care needs, can find quality, affordable coverage. That is why Governor Romney supports reforms to protect those with pre-existing conditions from being denied access to a health plan while they have continuous coverage. And for those purchasing insurance for the first time, he supports reforms that empower states to make high risk pools more accessible by using cost reducing methods like risk adjustment and reinsurance. Beginning on his first day in office, Governor Romney is committed to working with Congress to enact polices like these that protect Americans’ access to the care they need.This "plan" only shows how out of touch the campaign is on one of the central issues of the day.
The statement confirms that under a Romney presidency, there would be no federal prohibition barring health insurers from discriminating against pre-existing conditions. Instead, his administration would push reforms that help eat away at the problem. It would allow "reinsurance," in which insurance companies pool resources for a joint plan to cover high-risk patients (essentially an insurance policy for health insurers); provide block grants of Medicaid dollars to the states while giving them flexibility to cover their uninsured population; and encourage the creation of high-risk pools.Many wish that Obamacare did a lot more and had less gains for Big Insurance and Big Pharma but turning back the clock to the old way is not an option. Team Romney remains unable to appreciate the seriousness of the insurance situation, which is understandable though not excusable -- when you're worth a quarter of a billion dollars you don't need health insurance.
The Romney campaign believes that while a combination of these reforms won't eliminate the problem of people entering the health insurance market with a pre-existing condition and encountering discrimination, it will decrease it.