There are still a lot of unknowns with a covid 19 diagnosis. There is the health side, what are the long term impacts on a patient and how long does immunity last? How close to an effective vaccine are scientists? Lately, questions are being raised about the financial and insurance side. Will a covid 19 diagnosis be considered a pre-existing condition and what happens if that protection is thrown out in the US Supreme Court?
In June of this year, as the pandemic spread across America, the Trump administration filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out all of Obamacare. The case originated in Texas early in 2018. North Dakota joined that lawsuit with the assistance of Insurance Commissioner Jon Godfread and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. It was celebrated by Congressman Kelly Armstrong, Senator Kevin Cramer, and Governor Doug Burgum.
Now, we find North Dakota as the “hot spot” of covid 19. As of this writing, there have been nearly 16,000 total positive individuals since the pandemic began. Sadly, there have been 170 deaths. The daily positivity rate is creeping up. North Dakota is trending the wrong way.
The health crisis is also an economic concern for many. Millions are out of work across the country. Many of those workers relied on their employer for health insurance. Some of them have turned to Obamacare for coverage. With all of that going on, the President with the help of North Dakota’s top officials are actively trying to eliminate that program.
Just as science and doctors don’t have the full picture of the health impacts, I’m not sure officials and providers have a full picture of what happens next. In 2019, Senator Kevin Cramer admitted he has no idea what happens to people’s health care if the law is struck down.
Here are a couple questions I have. If a covid 19 patient has long-term organ impacts – as has been documented in some cases – could that be considered a pre-existing condition? What would happen without the protections of Obamacare? Where is the work being done to make sure there are protections if Obamacare is thrown out? Let’s try to clear up some of the uncertainty.