I should know this but cannot find a discussion of it. I understand what pre-existing condition means in the normal sense. Lets say I am 35 years old and have never had insurance because I am healthy and didn't want to spend the money. Now I am married with kids and decide that buying health insurance is the thing to do. I get insurance and some month later after a physical exam discover that I have cancer and have had it for a couple of years. That is a pre-existing condition and it is covered. Now lets say the same thing (too cheap to buy insurance) but I have the physical exam before I get insurance and know I have cancer. I may have even been treated for it. If I hop in my car and scurry to the insurance office and apply for insurance well after I have been diagnosed and before I have insurance. Is that covered?
If the 2nd scenario is covered then the transaction is not insurance. It is welfare. The pre-existing condition clause was used to encourage health young people to buy insurance because they are the ones who actually pay for all the sick people's treatment. That is also why Obozo's plan required everyone to buy insurance....the young healthy people's money.