Walter White from ‘Breaking Bad’
Teacher-turned-meth-maker Walter White (Bryan Cranston) fights many battles on AMC’s “Breaking Bad”—including with cancer. Such a pre-existing condition would put him among the “big winners” under Obamacare, says health economist Marjorie Baldwin of the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
“If someone with a pre-existing condition was previously denied health insurance coverage or unable to afford coverage, then that person will now be able to purchase insurance at more affordable rates,” she notes. “Also, people with chronic health issues who had been paying high rates for coverage on the individual market will likely see a drop in premiums.”
There’s an additional advantage for Walt’s son, Walter Jr., who suffers from cerebral palsy, a costly lifetime condition.
“The lifetime (health insurance) caps are going away next year,” says Wedig. “That’s a very big deal for people who have chronic conditions because it means they won’t run out of coverage.”
A 2009 report from consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers found that approximately 55 percent of individuals with employer-sponsored health insurance were subject to lifetime limits. Those limits were typically $1 million or $2 million.