One can just imagine what Marjorie Taylor Greene would tweet about this — if she had an active personal Twitter account, that is. Here’s a chance for American medical insurance companies to actually do some public good. They can start by going after the unvaccinated.
Daniel Karon, a consumer attorney for Karon LLC of Cleveland, suggests that medical insurance companies stop covering the unvaccinated for Covid-related medical conditions. Insurance companies already have broad exclusions for people who voluntarily engage in dangerous activities. For example, they already make it harder for tightrope walkers and extreme skydivers to get life insurance. But skydiving and tightrope walking doesn’t usually endanger other people’s lives. Refusing to get vaccinated does.
In other words, if you’re an anti-vaxxer and you get Covid you should pay for your own treatment out of your own pocket. The best part is this really shouldn’t represent a hardship for anyone. After all, the reason these anti-vaxxed Dunning-Kruger poster children “do their own research” in the first place is because they don’t trust the medical community. Denying them medical coverage shouldn’t matter to them at all, right? They can turn to their favourite politicians who practice medicine without a license for treatment advice, like Ron Johnson or Donald Trump.
Neither the Affordable Care Act (also known as “Obamacare”) nor other laws make it illegal for any private health insurer to exclude medical coverage to the unvaccinated for COVID-related treatments. In fact, it’s a mystery that they still don’t. They could start saving millions, or even billions, right away.
“My proposal doesn’t violate the ACA’s proscription against discriminating based on pre-existing conditions,” Karon explains. “A pre-existing condition is an illness or injury experienced before enrollment and includes health issues such as cancer, diabetes, and lupus. Pre-existing conditions require a diagnosis or treatment before an applicant’s enrollment. An insured’s unvaccinated status doesn’t qualify. Unvaccinated status — or status quo — is neither an illness nor injury and isn’t susceptible to diagnosis or treatment.”
So there you have it. End of problem. The next step is for ordinary Americans like you and me to start loudly demanding to know why insurance companies aren’t doing this anyway as a matter of course. After all, these contemptible anti-vaxxing morons are prolonging the pandemic and endangering the lives of our loved ones and the vulnerable. They are single-handedly wrecking the economy and killing people. Let them drink hydroxychloroquine! And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.