Did Paul Ryan Lie or Was He Misinformed

At a recent town hall segment on CNN, House Speaker Paul Ryan said that approximately 8% of Americans under 65 have pre-existing conditions. The quote was "8% of all the people under 65 have that kind of preexisting condition,” sequestering them would “dramatically lower the price for the other 92%".

It is unclear where Ryan got this figure. The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that 27% of Americans have pre-existing conditions that would leave them un-insurable before implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, Obamacare). Families USA, similarly estimates that 25% of Americans under 65 would be excluded from the insurance market under pre- ACA underwriting rules.

So the speaker has either intentionally mislead the public or he has misspoken for some reason. Hopefully it is the latter. No doubt it is easy to get one's facts wrong when responding freely in front of a audience of millions. However this is a very important point.

The exclusion of those with pre-existing conditions affects almost every family. If one family member cannot get access to reasonable insurance the results can be catastrophic. The results can include bankruptcy, misery, and death. We need to make sure that our leaders have a clear and workable plan for insuring those with pre-existing conditions have access to the reasonable care that they require at a price that is reasonable.