During a discussion of late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel's plea to maintain protections for those with pre-existing conditions like his newborn child who was born with severe heart defects, CNN contributor Margaret Hoover criticized Kimmel's approach saying it “massively confused the politics at hand and the policies at hand” before falsely claiming that high-risk pools would be successful in covering patients with pre-existing conditions under the American Health Care Act (AHCA). High-risk polls have been found to be an incredibly flawed approach to health care, as they have been found to be underfunded, expensive, and drastically limit access to care. And GOP lawmakers have noted that these high-risk pools would do nothing for patients with pre-existing conditions. Rep. Bill Long (R-MO) said that the law “strips away any guarantee that pre-existing conditions would be covered and affordable.” Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) noted that he “cannot support” the AHCA because it would allow “pre-existing illnesses to be discriminated against from the very get go.” From the May 2 edition of CNN's At This Hour with Kate Bolduan:
MARGARET HOOVER: That was an incredibly emotional plea, but it massively confused the politics at hand and the policies at hand. There is no part of this policy or bill that is saying we absolutely are going to take away pre-existing conditions without some other element there. There are high-risk pools in the states. States, if they choose to opt out of the part of Obamacare that has pre-existing conditions, must have a waiver from the federal government that says how they are going to handle patients that have pre-existing conditions. There has to been a plan. So we can debate and quibble about whether it's good enough or not. But that's not even what he was arguing. He was saying we have to have health care here and this is actually how to provide health insurance, which pays for health care, OK? So there is a conflation of a huge amount of issues in what was admittedly a very emotional plea.
KATE BOLDUAN (HOST): Do you think he was wrong in trying to say stop using this as a political football and get your stuff together?
HOOVER: But what he's saying is make sure people have health care. I agree with that. We should make sure people have health care, and by the way, most people who go into hospitals that don't have Jimmy Kimmel's resources and aren't in private hospitals in the L.A., and can't get the top world-renown child cardiac surgeons in that moment --
BOLDUAN: That was his point.
HOOVER: Are on Medicaid. And Medicaid has stopped providing this kind of service.That's part of it. Our health care system is broken and the poorest of us cannot afford it. Yes, we have to have health care, but he's not addressing the crux of the issue here that the House Republicans are trying to deal with in the failures of the Affordable Care Act, which Democrats admit exist.