8 health insurance reform winners and losers
WINNER: Person with pre-existing condition
One of the essential components of Obamacare is that insurance companies are no longer allowed to deny coverage or charge a higher premium because the consumer has a pre-existing health condition.
"The biggest winners of the Affordable Care Act are people with pre-existing conditions," says Volk. "Even people who have a job with benefits have been worried that they might lose that job, lose their insurance and be unable to obtain a new policy. Some people have not pursued a job change just because of their insurance issues. People have been regularly shut out of insurance or offered a plan that was too expensive or didn't cover the one thing they had."
Volk notes that while most people assume pre-existing conditions that precluded insurance or made it prohibitively expensive were diseases such as cancer or diabetes, in reality, even relatively innocuous conditions such as asthma or hay fever sometimes sent health insurance premiums sky high.
"The fundamental accomplishment of the ACA -- eliminating bias against people with a pre-existing condition -- means that the U.S. is finally joining the league of developed nations," says Gruber. "No other developed country in the world has a system like we had."