The first set of regulations in the Affordable Care Act is now in effect. Big government has now capriciously taken away the right of average Americans to start an insurance company, sell other people insurance, and then arbitrarily cancel the policy when that person contracts a horrible illness:
For all plans - including individual and group policies as well as those sponsored by employers - insurers will no longer be permitted to:
l Deny coverage to children with preexisting conditions.
This will not necessarily prevent insurers from charging higher premiums in such cases. But it will mean they can no longer refuse to sell policies for children who are sick. They also cannot temporarily or permanently exclude coverage of medical bills arising from a child's preexisting condition. An important caveat: This rule does not apply to plans purchased before the legislation was adopted on March 23. But Americans of all ages will be able to receive these protections after 2014.
l Put lifetime limits on benefits.
Another caveat: A plan can still put a lifetime dollar limit on spending for health services that the government does not deem essential.
l Cancel a policy retroactively without proving fraud.
This addresses a practice known as recission, by which insurers could cancel coverage just as a person got sick, on the grounds that they or their employer had provided inaccurate information when they originally applied for coverage. Now insurers will have to prove that the error was more than just an honest mistake. As with many of the other rules, this one applies to "plan years" or "policy years" that begin on or after Sept. 23.
We're living in the nightmare of an Ayn Rand novel.