‘People Who Lead Good Lives’ Don’t Have Preexisting Medical Conditions: GOP Rep.

Nearly half of Americans live with a preexisting condition — many of whom live in states that voted for Trump.

CNN

As Republicans continue to scramble to put in a replacement for the Affordable Care Act — known as Obamacare — one topic of debate has been coverage for people with preexisting conditions. But according to Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, “people who lead good lives” don’t have to worry about preexisting conditions and should not have to pay more for medical insurance.

“My understanding is that [the new proposal] will allow insurance companies to require people who have higher health care costs to contribute more to the insurance pool,” Brooks said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Monday. “That helps offset all these costs, thereby reducing the cost to those people who lead good lives, they’re healthy, they’ve done the things to keep their bodies healthy. And right now, those are the people — who’ve done things the right way — that are seeing their costs skyrocketing.”

Brooks is a member of the House Freedom Caucus, a conservative group of House Republicans that largely influenced the flop of the Republicans’ first health care bill. Many conservative Republicans wanted to fully repeal Obamacare’s “essential health benefits,” which include required coverage for people with chronic illnesses. In the latest bill floating around, Republicans are considering giving states an option to be waived out of offering essential benefits.

Preexisting conditions can include a wide variety of medical issues, such as asthma, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, cerebral palsy, high cholesterol, fibromyalgia and sickle cell disease.

Anyone can be affected by a preexisting condition. In Brooks’ own congressional district, 51 percent of non-elderly residents live with one.

The percent of Americans living with preexisting conditions varies and depends largely on the definition of the phrase being used. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as many as 1 in 2 non-elderly Americans live with a preexisting condition. (Using a more conservative estimate, the department reported that nearly one-fifth of non-elderly Americans live with some kind of preexisting condition.) A Kaiser Family Foundation analysis found that just over one-quarter of U.S. adults under 65 live with a preexisting condition “that would likely make them uninsurable” without the ACA. But, in a separate Kaiser Family Foundation poll, “most people (53%) report that they or someone in their household has a pre-existing condition.”

“Older Americans between ages 55 and 64 are at particular risk: 48 to 86 percent of people in that age bracket have some type of pre-existing condition. And 15 to 30 percent of people in perfectly good health today are likely to develop a pre-existing condition over the next eight years, severely limiting their choices without the protections of the Affordable Care Act,” the HHS reported.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation data, a lot of Southern states have a higher percentage of people under 65 living with a preexisting condition. Among the highest reported percentages were West Virginia (36 percent), Mississippi (34 percent), Kentucky (33 percent), Alabama (33 percent), Arkansas (32 percent), Tennessee (32 percent) and Oklahoma (31 percent).

All of the aforementioned states voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election. Despite these demographics, more than half of Trump voters believe that a Trump health care plan would be beneficial for themselves and their families.

A different poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation revealed that the majority of Americans — 69 percent — support the Obamacare mandate that prevents companies from denying medical insurance due to preexisting conditions. Sixty percent of Trump voters reported supporting this measure.

And a Gallup poll conducted in April found that 55 percent of Americans support Obamacare — up from 42 percent in the days just following the election. Fifty-two percent of Americans in November said they believe it is the responsibility of the federal government to make sure all Americans have healthcare coverage.

In response to Brooks, an emotional Jimmy Kimmel on Monday night opened up about his newborn son, who was born with a heart condition that required surgery.

“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make,” Kimmel said. “I think that’s something that whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”

Despite personal political affiliations, Kimmel said, “We need to make sure that the people who are supposed to represent us, people who are meeting about this right now in Washington, understand that very clearly.”

Others also responded on Twitter, sharing stories of their own preexisting conditions or their loved ones who are afflicted by one.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

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19 comments


  • You remember the show kids say the darnest things? Now think of the republican party. Some of the things that come out of these people’s mouths is incredible. Not saying that as a democrat, just as an outside observer. Bill Oreilly was a perfect example. Some of the idiotic things that man would say was just mindboggling.

  • What utter foolishness.

    My daughter has Sickle Cell disease as well as Lupus. Nothing to do with how she “lives.”

    The surveys are very telling as well – people are for health care for everyone as long as it is not called Obamacare. Those in the red states that most needed affordable health care are “cutting off their noses to spite their face.”

    What will reduce cost is to keep the individual and employer mandate in place – requiring healthy people to purchase insurance to balance the less healthy in the pool. And it also gives employees more freedom to move from one employer to another.

    Additionally, the large health care providers would have to compete more for our business as is seen in the mandatory car insurance market.

    • Charity Dell

      GRANNYBUNNY–All of these “improvements” to the Affordable Care Act spell:

      PLANNED GENOCIDE.

      What person over 40 in America does not have a “pre-existing condition?”

  • What an idiot! Forms of cancers do not discriminate when it comes to people who led a good and healthy life or not!

  • Rhetorically speaking

    Why is it always the people who speak in the unified voice using words like “freedom”, “patriot”, “Americans”, “family”, “states rights” adopt the positions of fear, isolation, greed and sloth?

    The way I understand it “freedom”, “patriot”, “Americans”, “family” are opposite of what they believe this country suppose to represent. Irreprehensible actions by elected officials by mainly GOP and to a smaller degree Democratic Party.

    Is it too late to say we need our elected officials to become more intuitive with this health care issue and push for a
    SINGLE PAYER MODEL.

    Works for American veterans. And doesn’t work so much for the elderly, poor and children (MEDICAID, MEDICARE) because health providers aren’t regulated into charging across the board affordable healthcare.

  • Good solid proof that it does not take intelligence to get elected in this country. Nobody is ‘immune’ from health issues. And if Mo had thought before he spoke, he would remember that the most evil people in this country (like Charlie Manson, for example) already have government-provided healthcare. If it’s provided (FREE!) for the most evil of us, why is it so hard to figure out a good plan for the rest of us? —Is the rest of Congress is just as dense as Mo Brooks? I have an idea…Let’s vote for new, intelligent people next time.

    • Charity Dell

      JOHN–DOMESTIC GENOCIDE IS CHEAPER than providing Universal Health Care for Americans.
      Then we can use the funds saved for INTERNATIONAL GENOCIDE.

  • Another example of yet another idiotic political figure. What a jackass. There have been instances of babies born with cancer and other life threatening diseases. What life did they lead to deserve that? If Brooks had just taken a moment or two to engage his brain before speaking, perhaps he would have been able to formulate an intelligent response instead of stupid gibberish! I am so sick of these buffoons in office, I could scream.

    • Charity Dell

      EMM–Why should he engage his brain? It’s just easier to commit:

      PLANNED GENOCIDE.

  • I actually feel sorry for Republican Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama because karma tends to bite you in the fanny when you least expect it.

    • Charity Dell

      MELROD–Coming soon to a state near you:

      PLANNED GENOCIDE!

      If you need health care, just DIE and save the Death SQUADS…errrr…”insurance companies”
      the money.

  • Dear Rep Brooks – I pray that after your grandchild is diagnosed with a rare but treatable cancer that her parents do not have their jobs eliminated and find themselves out of work and wondering how to pay for treatments or watch their child die. I pray that never happens to you. Please vote to protect people’s right to health care. The only reason to eliminate the protection for pre existing conditions is to preserve insurance company profits.

    • In an almost all white male billionare cabinet, only imbeciles think otherwise.

      All of a sudden the former CEO of Exxon, five guys from Goldman Sachs and sour puss Wilbur Ross are going to start worrying about the “little guy”?

  • These people really need to get out of the dark ages. Some pre existing conditions have nothing to do with behavior or lifestyle. Some of them were acquired at birth and have nothing to do with the mother’s lifestyle. I am glad that we know his stand because it is very easy to vote this dangerous tea party out in 2020! I hope that the folks living in the red states where there are more than one third of the population of these states with pre existing conditions learn the lessons of this dangerous time. If they are still alive in 2020 to vote this group out, do so!

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