Kate Pickert decodes the pre-existing condition brouhaha:

Although insurers have promised to sell insurance policies to families with kids with pre-existing conditions, there is nothing to stop the insurance companies from charging whatever they want. Until 2014, insurers will still be allowed to set premiums rates in the individual market based on health status. For a kid with a bad health status – like cystic fibrosis, say, or cancer – that means very high premiums that families might still not find affordable. Insurers are not going to simply absorb the cost of covering these expensive cases; they will pass the expenses on to policy holders.

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