Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 10 – Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio called for high-risk pools at the state level for people with preexisting conditions.
“For someone with a disability or a preexisting condition or a chronic illness that makes it difficult to ensure, that’s where I think government can help with a high-risk pool at the state level that says there are a certain number of people in this country that because they have chronic condition or serious preexisting condition, they cannot get coverage in the private market,” the senator from Florida said in Marshalltown, Iowa, on Wednesday. “That is what government should be focused on helping, not disrupting the entire network but those specific people.”
A Health and Human Services report published in January 2011 estimated that between 50 million and 129 million people have a preexisting condition in the eyes of insurance companies. Twenty-five million of those did not have health insurance prior to the Affordable Care Act, according to the report.
Fully one-in-five Americans have a disability and polls show that most of them want to work. Yet more than 70 percent of working-age Americans with disabilities are not employed, making it impossible for them to have coverage through an employer.
The Florida senator also called for a refundable tax credit to use on healthcare coverage if an employer doesn’t want to offer a health insurance.
“If your employer does not want to offer health insurance and just wants to give you money, let’s say $800 a month, you don’t pay taxes on that money,” Rubio said. “If you don’t have that, you get a refundable tax credit that again allows you to have access to your own money, if you’re working to use it on any healthcare coverage you want.”