March 1, 2017 9:28AM

WSJ: How ObamaCare Punishes the Sick

In today’s Wall Street Journal, I discuss new economic research showing ObamaCare is making health insurance worse for patients with high‐​cost medical conditions.

Republicans are nervous about repealing ObamaCare’s supposed ban on discrimination against patients with pre‐​existing conditions. But a new study by Harvard and the University of Texas‐​Austin finds those rules penalize high‐​quality coverage for the sick, reward insurers who slash coverage for the sick, and leave patients unable to obtain adequate insurance…

If anything, Republicans should fear not repealing ObamaCare’s pre‐​existing‐​conditions rules. The Congressional Budget Office predicts a partial repeal would wipe out the individual market and cause nine million to lose coverage unnecessarily. And contrary to conventional wisdom, the consequences of those rules are wildly unpopular. In a new Cato Institute/​YouGov poll, 63% of respondents initially supported ObamaCare’s pre‐​existing‐​condition rules. That dropped to 31% — with 60% opposition — when they were told of the impact on quality.

Republicans can’t keep their promise to repeal ObamaCare and improve access for the sick without repealing the ACA’s penalties on high‐​quality coverage.

The lesson is clear. To repeal ObamaCare, opponents need to talk to voters about how the law is reducing the quality of health insurance and medical care for the sick.

Read the whole thing.