‘Pre-existing condition’ is a peculiarly American phrase. It’s a concept that doesn’t exist in other English-speaking nations like Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand or Australia. The United States is the only first-world country that has found such an efficient way to exclude people from medical care simply because they need medical care.
And it’s another reason why 45 million Americans went without health insurance for most or all of 2012, according to the CDC.
The first attempt to establish a system of universal health care took place during the Roosevelt Administration (Teddy, not Franklin). Now, after nearly a century of good intentions and bad politics, a transformation has happened. Whether that’s a good thing in your opinion may depend on which cable news show you watch, but love or loathe the Affordable Care Act—better known by the emotionally weighted term ObamaCare—you most likely don’t know what you need to know about it.