As you read HHS' statement further, a bit more reality enters the equation. The department goes on to say that "anywhere from 50 to 129 million (19 to 50 percent) of Americans under age 65 have some type of pre-existing condition," with heart disease, cancer, asthma, high blood pressure, and arthritis cited as examples.
Well, what is it? Fifty or 129 million? That's quite a disparity.
In case you read me wrong, this column isn't about reform bashing or sticking up for the little guy, if that's what ACA has made health insurers. But I was a bit taken aback on how loose HHS was with statistics that, whether intended or not, paint one of its most vital partners in healthcare reform in such a negative light.
There really is no debate surrounding pre-existing conditions or other parts of healthcare reform—it's a done deal with little chance of repeal, at least in the near term. But perhaps HHS, which really holds the cards, should spend less time antagonizing and more time building bridges with those constituents vital to successful reform.