The most common pre-existing medical conditions

( CNN) By the numbers, it looks like Americans are one unhealthy nation and could thus have a lot to lose, depending on how the health care debate concludes.

As many as one in two Americans has some kind of illness or condition that was, at a time, deemed to be a pre-existing condition by insurance companies before Obamacare. For older Americans, that percentage is even higher: About 86% of your aging parents and grandparents, Americans between the ages of 55 and 64, have one, according to government estimates.

Before the Affordable Care Act, Americans could be denied health insurance if they had one of several of common health conditions like diabetes, asthma and even acne. Obamacare generally stopped that practice. The law, in most cases, constructed it illegal for insurers to deny coverage or to charge people more because they’d been sick. It also put an end to most of the lifetime and annual benefit pay caps carried by some insurance policies, even the typically more generous employer-provided ones.

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