Study finds that one fifth to one half of non-elderly Americans have a pre-existing condition

A study by the Department of Health and Human Services found that one-fifth to one-half of non-elderly people in the United States have pre-existing conditions that could cause them to be rejected from, or pay a higher price from private insurance companies, should the health care bill be repealed, according to The Washington Post.  These conditions range from cancer and heart disease to diabetes and asthma. 

Other key findings from the study:

  • 48 to 86 percent of people ages 55 and 64 have a pre-existing condition.
  • 15 to 30 percent of people in perfectly good health today are likely to develop a pre-existing condition over the next eight years.

Critics argue that most Americans with pre-existing conditions currently have health insurance, and repealing the law would only put them at risk if they lose their insurance coverage.

 

(Sources: Department of Health and Human Services study, http://www.healthcare.gov, January, 2011; The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com, January 18, 2011)