ThinkProgress.org spoke with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) outside a tea party rally nearby where the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on the constitutionality of the individual mandate. The second-term South Carolina senator called the pre-existing condition clause simply an “excuse for government to run health care.” We asked whether people with such conditions would get less health care under Obamacare than they did prior to its enactment. “They probably will,” declared DeMint.
While DeMint may think care will be worse for those with pre-existing conditions, this is simply not true. Nearly 50,000 people previously turned down because of a pre-existing condition have already been able to receive health care because of the ACA and the new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan that the law created. Already, health care reform has stopped discrimination against children with pre-existing conditions. By 2014, that same law will apply to all adults, ensuring that everyone with an existing medical problem is able to get the care they need.