Bringing more chronic conditions like end stage renal care under Medicare would create a more equitable and efficient system of care for patients with chronic conditions than currently exists. It is far past time to treat all chronic conditions as we’ve treated end stage renal disease since 1972 – in Medicare.
If there was one thing that doomed the Republican proposals to remake health care last year, it was the great uncertainty about how they would cover patients with chronic illness and pre-existing conditions.
Throngs of people with a wide range of ailments staged dramatic protests in and around the halls of Congress during the debate. Night after night, Jimmy Kimmel, whose infant son was born with a serious congenital heart defect, took up the cause on his talk show.
Only one in five people approved of the last failed Republican bill, Graham-Cassidy. A big reason: 87 percent of respondents, including 79 percent of Republicans, said in one poll that insurers should be required to cover people with pre-existing conditions. The bill could have allowed insurers in certain states to charge more for such coverage.
Who doesn’t have a family member or friend with a long-term or potentially recurring medical condition, whose life is maintained by expensive treatments — patients with diseases like Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, heart failure, cystic fibrosis and cancer? They are grateful for medical innovations that allow them to lead long, productive lives but afraid of financial ruin or an inability to get good coverage.
- The New York Times