Hello, Dr. Keith Smith with you here on behalf of the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, thank you for joining me.

Let’s talk for a minute about pre-existing conditions and whether insurance companies should be mandated to pay for these.

What if you want to buy a policy that does not cover pre-existing conditions, because it is very inexpensive? Shouldn’t you be allowed to buy that policy and shouldn’t someone be allowed to sell you that policy? I believe that the focus on pre-existing conditions, as mandated in coverage is a mistake, as it is a further distraction away from the real issue which is not coverage. It’s cost.

The only way to address cost is to have competition. Competition is something every other industry must endure. When you have price competition, the quality soars and the prices fall. What if prices fell to such a level that you would not worry that your pre-existing condition would present a bankrupting opportunity for some “not-for-profit” hospital to inflict on you?

What if prices were to fall so low that it wouldn’t be so scary for an individual thinking that, because they have a pre-existing condition, they couldn’t afford any subsequent care associated with that condition. You could then buy an insurance policy that is very affordable, basically a catastrophic policy.

I think that the focus on pre-existing conditions is a mistake, because it once again is focusing on coverage and not the actual cost and availability of care.

Thank you for joining me, we’ll see you next time.