Arizona Lawsuit Against Healthcare Reform

The East Valley Tribune reported:

The Goldwater Institute filed a federal lawsuit Thursday to block national healthcare reform, arguing it violates the rights of a Tempe business owner, Arizona lawmakers and even members of Congress.

The lead plaintiff is Nick Coons, 31, owner of RedSeven, a Tempe-based computer repair company. The suits says he carries only catastrophic insurance coverage to save money and because he is healthy. The plan covers costs of $5,000 or more and Coons pays for other medical care himself.

“I think I would have standing in this case because I don’t have health care coverage that the bill would consider adequate,” Coons said Thursday.

The suit argues Coon’s medical privacy would be violated by forcing him to disclose medical records to an insurance company, and that those documents could be accessed by the federal government without his approval.

Mr. Coons seems to be misinformed about the health care reform insurance requirements. I am an insurance agent and my understanding is that an insurance exchange will be set up to offer a variety of coverage options for small business owners and individuals like Mr Coons. I haven’t read anything that says high deductible plans will be eliminated. I’m pretty sure he will be free to choose a $5,000 deductible plan, but that plan will be better than what he has now because it will be required to cover preventive care that is not subject to a deductible.

With regards to Mr. Coons’ concern about insurance companies seeing his medical information, I have some news for him.  When he applied for health insurance he gave the insurance company permission to access his information – and it was available from a central database. Any insurance company (with his permission) can access his medical history. And if Mr. Coons were not so healthy, an insurance company to which he applies for coverage would request medical records from his doctors (with his permission) and the insurance company might find a reason to reject him. This rejection information will go into the central database, so if he applies to another insurance company he will be red flagged – and possibly rejected automatically. My point is that health care reform is not changing anybody’s access to his information. Big brother is already out there – and it’s the health insurance industry.

One more thing:   If Mr. Coons, or his wife, or his child should be diagnosed with diabetes or some other illness, he might change his tune. He’s healthy, so he was able to get health insurance.  But what about an entrepreneur with a great business idea who has diabetes?  That person is uninsurable. Or what about a small business owner who has a child born with an illness that makes that child uninsurable?  Until the reform law was passed this year a child born with an illness could be refused coverage by his parents’ insurance company. This is something that has already changed due to the reform law.

As an insurance agent I think the reforms will free entrepreneurs to think about growing their business rather than how they are going to get health insurance for themselves and their employees. People will be able to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams if they know they can get health insurance. I think the reforms will open up many possibilities for entrepreneurs who might not be as young and healthy as Mr Coons.

How many people would quit their stinking jobs that they keep just for the health insurance?    And how many people in their 50’s and 60’s would retire early if they could get an individual health insurance policy? These people have IRA’s and 401Ks that would allow them to quit work and pursue other things – but they need health insurance.  They might not qualify under current rules that allow insurance companies to reject them because of their weight, or high cholesterol, or osteoporosis, or cancer they had five years ago.  If these people can retire early and get health insurance jobs will open up for younger workers – and this will be a big boost for the economy.

I don’t know the details of Mr. Coons’ health insurance policy, but it sounds to me like he has a weak case that is based on misinformation and paranoia. These are health conditions that seem to be rampant in Phoenix.

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