2012-07-10 "GOP Rep to Sick People: Drop Dead" by Jeff Fecke
Rep. David Dreier, R-Calif., has a pretty simple plan for uninsured people with cancerous tumors: let them die.
Dreier said Monday that while there should be a “structure” available for people with pre-existing conditions, he didn’t think that should extend to anyone with health problems that would cost actual money to treat [http://thinkprogress.org/health/2012/07/10/513735/republican-rep-i-dont-think-someone-who-is-diagnosed-with-a-brain-tumor-should-have-health-care-provided/].
“I believe my state of California has a structure in place to deal with pre-existing conditions. It’s a pooling process, which I think is one worthy of consideration,” Dreier said. “because while I don’t that think someone who is diagnosed with a massive tumor should the next day be able to have millions and millions and millions of dollars in health care provided, I do believe that there can be a structure to deal with the issue of pre-existing conditions.”
Dreier did not say how he thought people with “massive tumors” should pay for their “millions and millions and millions of dollars” of health care bills. One can only assume that he expects uninsured people who are diagnosed with cancer to borrow the money from a rich friend, or, failing that, for those people to do the decent thing and die.
As for high-risk pools, the Affordable Care Act created a high-risk pool as a bridge for people with pre-existing conditions [http://pciplan.com/]. The plan is available for people who have been without insurance for six months, and who have pre-existing conditions that have prevented them from purchasing private insurance. The plan will be phased out in 2014, when private insurers will no longer be able to discriminate against people based on pre-existing conditions.
That is, of course, assuming that the Republicans do not succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act. Should they be successful, the federal high-risk pool would be eliminated as well, and even more people would be forced to choose between spending millions of dollars on health care, bankrupting themselves and their families in the process, or dying.