James Freeman, the editor of the editorial page at the Wall Street Journal, went on Fox Business and made two arguments about the coverage of preexisting conditions that are so inane he should be ashamed of himself for making them. He isn’t, of course, but he should be. These people are incapable of feeling shame. The first is he calls it a “phony issue” because the bill that would have ended coverage for preexisting conditions didn’t pass.
Um. Okay, why does that make it a phony issue? It didn’t pass because they didn’t have enough votes to pass it. It failed by a single vote. How is it not a perfectly legitimate political issue for the Democrats to say don’t vote for the people who tried to strip insurance coverage from those with pre-existing conditions because they’re going to keep trying and only more Democrats in office will stop them? In no possible universe is that a “phony issue.”
MARIA BARTIROMO (HOST): James, lay out the issue for us in terms of pre-existing conditions.
JAMES FREEMAN (THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR): Yeah, so, the idea is, you don’t want to let people buy insurance on their way to the hospital. This would be the argument to say, let’s have an insurance market. If you are sick already, you don’t need insurance. You need health care. So you need a system that allows people to get the care they need, but if you’re going to have an insurance market, they have to be able to sell to healthy people, not just sick people, and so that’s the theory.
Now, the president has said he doesn’t want to change anything with pre-existing conditions. That wasn’t changed, obviously. The Republicans never rewrote Obamacare. So, it’s kind of a phony issue in that way.
Then he claimed that if we had universal coverage, that would end the coverage for preexisting conditions.
But, to me, and I don’t know if you’re hearing from patients, this issue of the Medicare for all plan, which ends Medicare and ends private insurance, in other words, it ends all pre-existing coverage. Every person in the United States — this is the plan that most Democrats in the House have endorsed, Bernie Sanders, a lot of Senate candidates. It ends all coverage in the U.S. and creates a new government plan. What does that mean for patients?
It ends coverage for preexisting conditions because it mandates coverage for everyone. I honestly don’t know how someone can say something that stupid and dishonest with a straight face. It’s a talent I simply don’t have, one that no one should have.