Holtz-Eakin Faces End Of His Health Coverage : Shots - Health News Doug Holtz-Eakin, once head of the Congressional Budget Office, is still unemployed a year after his gig as Sen. John McCain's top health guru dried up. Holtz-Eakin's COBRA coverage is about to expire, and a preexisting condition makes him hard to...
NPR logo Holtz-Eakin Faces End Of His Health Coverage

Holtz-Eakin Faces End Of His Health Coverage

If you had any doubt about the challenge of buying health insurance on the individual market, just ask Doug Holtz-Eakin. Remember him?

Doug Holtz-Eakin listens to questions about preexisting conditions during a forum hosted by Congressional Republicans last week. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images ) hide caption

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images )

Doug Holtz-Eakin listens to questions about preexisting conditions during a forum hosted by Congressional Republicans last week.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images )

Holtz-Eakin, a 51-year-old policy wonk, is still unemployed a year after his gig as Sen. John McCain's top health guru dried up along with the Arizona Republican's bid for the presidency.

Now, the Washington Post reports, Holtz-Eakin's coverage under COBRA is about to run out and his outlook for an individual policy is grim.

His big problem is a big preexisting condition. He had major surgery after his right kidney was damaged in an accident in 1990. "They got rid of the artery, moved my kidney and rebuilt me for the 21st century," the told the Post. "If you look at my file, any insurance company would go, 'Hmm . . .' "

Despite his personal travails, Holtz-Eakin is no fan of the Democrats' plans to remake health care. Holtz-Eakin, who ran the Congressional Budget Office from 2003 to 2005, says he doesn't think the proposed legislation takes a big enough bite out of costs and will fuel a spending spiral.

"The promise of real reform remains," he wrote a few weeks back in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. "But the reality of the Democrats' current effort is starkly less benign. It will create a dangerous new entitlement that will be paid for by the middle class and their children."