Michael Cannon cites two studies that say the pre-existing condition problem is rare. An HHS study says 1% of Americans have been denied coverage because of a pre-existing conditions. He also sites a study by economists who say the uninsurable is less than 1% of the population. Cannon then reminds us that the individual market pools risks well, and that allowing insurers to risk-rate premiums would encourage innovative products like health status insurance.
Also check out John Goodman’s post:
Although the most important parts of ObamaCare [HR 3590] (the individual mandate, subsidies, employer fines, etc.) do not kick in until 2014, the legislation made interim provision for those with pre-existing conditions problems. A new kind of risk pool is open to anyone who is denied insurance in the private sector and it’s available for the same premiums healthy people pay. Twenty-three states are operating their own risk pools and 27 are relying on a federal plan.
It’s been like giving a party to which no one comes. The Medicare program chief actuary predicted last spring that 375,000 would sign up for the new risk pool insurance in 2010. But by the end of November, only 8,000 had done so.
See also this post on guaranteed renewable insurance.