Steven Waldman

Religious leaders advocating for health care reform have tended to emphasize the plight of the uninsured, which surely is a great injustice.
But to me, another facet is just as unjust — and politically more potent: that is, the tendency for insurance companies to deny coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.
The ranks of the uninsured include both people who want to have insurance but cant and those who don’t want insurance — in other words, both the needy and the comfortable. By contrast, most everyone who had been turned town for coverage because of a pre-existing condition is suffering. And on a gut moral level, the idea of denying someone coverage because they are sick ranks just as high in my book as the broader argument that a just society should “cover everyone.”
I understand that as a practical matter, solving the pre-existing condition issue may require a broader coverage base but to me we have the cart before the horse both ethically and politically.
I heard Kathleen Sebelius on the Daily Show the other night and once again she was emphasizing the uninsured and “costs.” I remain baffled as to why health care advocates don’t stress the pre-existing condition issue.

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