Letters to the Editor

Don’t punish someone for having a pre-existing condition

The health care bill pushed by the leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives may be coming back to life in an even more damaging form. The legislation would hit people aged 50-64 with an “age tax” that could cost them up to $13,000 a year.

And the deal being talked about behind closed doors could allow insurance companies to deny coverage or increase costs by thousands of dollars for people with pre-existing conditions.

Twenty-five million Americans between the ages of 50 and 64 have a pre-existing condition, like cancer, heart disease, or high blood pressure; many of them live in Illinois.

Coping with a pre-existing condition is painful enough. The last thing the government should be doing is telling insurance companies it is okay to add to the suffering.

Who wins under this legislation? Big drug and insurance companies do. Let’s not go backwards by once again permitting insurance companies to punish someone for having a pre-existing condition. And, we can’t allow legislation to slap older Americans with an unfair age tax. I hope people all over our state tell their members of Congress what a terrible idea this is.

Jim Pennebaker, Smithton