Some Nerve: My Pre-Existing Conditions
“My first day in office, I am going to ask Congress to put a bill on my desk getting rid of this disastrous law and replacing it with reforms that expand choice, freedom, affordability,” Trump promised in October of last year. “You’re going to have such great health care at a tiny fraction of the cost. And it’s going to be so easy.”
Ain’t that some shit.
By now, you’d have to be living under a rock or sipping cocktails with Bill Cosby to not know that American healthcare is getting a major makeover. Hopefully it’s not the latter, because our system might increase the cost of health care for those having suffered sexual abuse, among a host of other “pre-existing conditions,” a term I’ve heard more often in the last few days than “Despacito.” Here’s a list of items that, potentially, will increase costs under Trump’s “American Health Care Act“ sourced from Time. To keep shit real, I bolded ones I personally do or have suffered from:
- Alcohol or drug abuse with recent treatment
- Cerebral palsy
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery/heart disease, bypass surgery
- Crohn’s disease
- Kidney disease, renal failure
- Mental disorders (including Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Organ transplant
- Parkinson’s disease
- Pending surgery or hospitalization
- Pneumocystic pneumonia
- Pregnancy or expectant parent (includes men)
- Sleep apnea
- Acid Reflux
- Celiac Disease
- Heart burn (self-diagnosed but like, pretty sure)
- High cholesterol
- Kidney Stones
- Knee surgery
- Lyme Disease
- Postpartum depression
- Seasonal Affective Disorder
- “Sexual deviation or disorder”
But before we dive into this heavily, let me make sure we’re not a part of promoting #alternativefacts. The Senate still needs to vote on the bill, and it’s likely going to be altered “tremendously,” as our Cheeto Puff of a leader would say. The terms around pre-existing conditions are still fairly unclear, and are likely to change. That being said, here is a fact, and the reason why we need to talk about this:
Our House of Representatives DID vote for the bill in its current iteration, meaning a bill that doesn’t protect those with pre-existing conditions. So that’s where they stand.
This issue is complicated as fuck, and to be honest, there’s still a lot of uncertainty. But here’s some of what people are predicting:
Under Obamacare, our subsidies (financial assistance) for overall health insurance depended on people’s incomes and the premiums (the amount you pay for healthcare each month).
Under Trump’s policy, people will receive tax credits based on their age, amongst other factors. If the cost of insurance is super fucking high, their insurance still won’t be adjusted. Basically, old people are screwed.
But what’s all this pre-existing condition noise? Let me Bill Nye the shit out of this for you. These conditions are medical issues people have before you sign up for new health insurance. Under Obamacare, insurance companies couldn’t hold these conditions against you; even if you had an insanely tragic illness that was going to cost the companies a bajillion dollars, they had to give you the same deal as everyone else. Under Trump’s policy, individual states will be allowed to decide this on their own.
Thus, really sick people will likely have to pay more when signing up for new health insurance. Read: a lot of people could die, and a lot of people could end up in unimaginable debt. Also, the insurance might not cover the treatments these people need whatsoever.
Furthermore, the new bill will eliminate money for Medicaid expansions. Currently, the program covers 70 million people.
There’s a lot more to be said here, but also, we have to play the waiting game. Nothing is final yet, and there’s no telling where this is heading.
I’m a relatively healthy person (besides the fact that the inside of my brain is scarier than Azealia Banks sacrificing dead chickens), and yet I still would likely suffer from this. A lot of the people you know would suffer.
What can we do? Understand the facts. Promote truthful and healthy conversations. Let it be know that you’re not down with high-risk pools—educate yourself and let’s see how this unfolds together.
Featured image via
Stay tuned to Milk for more from lil nervous.