I’m currently shaking out of anger. It’s well known that I’m a “flaming liberal” as some so respectfully call me, so you can imagine where I’m going with this. If you are triggered by us “flaming liberal” types and if you cannot read opposing thoughts without closing off your rationality and respectfulness, I ask you, politely, to move on.
As we know, the House of Representatives has passed the American Health Care Act and we’re now awaiting the Senate’s approval or disapproval. I’m absolutely sick over this entire thing. First, I’ll admit that the Affordable Care Act was not perfect. Honestly, what can be perfect today? I saw people complaining and moaning about how their insurance was going up and it was less spectacular than it used to be, and to that I thought: good to know you’re more concerned about yourself, that you’re worked up about slightly less coverage for you in order for others to have any coverage at all. Call me crazy, but I’d rather have to pay a little more if that means everyone gets some kind of healthcare. I guess it’s too much to ask that we care more about people than money. I think people easily forgot that their insurance is most likely still better than what it is for those receiving government healthcare.
I could go on endlessly about every infuriating aspect of this callous bill, but I’d like to move on to something that everyone can care about since that’s the only time some people will be angered: when it actually seems unfair to them. So, I present to you the pre-existing conditions part of Trump’s bill.
Ive read multiple different articles and seen a copious amount of pictures and lists and so on, and what I’ve gathered is that the AHCA still “favors” the requirement set by the ACA regarding pre-existing conditions: insurers cannot deny benefits to those with pre-existing conditions. However, with the AHCA, insurers sure can drive up the prices and decrease the amount of coverage for those of us unfortunate enough to have contracted or been born with a disease/disorder. With that, states will be allowed waivers that will then allow insurers to sell plans that exclude benefits to those with pre-existing conditions.
In a nutshell, the Trump”care” act does not guarantee affordable care or any health insurance at all to those of us with certain diseases, disorders, or conditions. No matter your political affiliation, you’re susceptible to ailments. Thus, everyone is impacted by this.
List of pre-existing conditions that could cause premium spikes or may not be covered:
- Menstral irregularities
- Bipolar Disorder
- Muscular Distrophy
- Organ transplants
- Macular degeneration
- Sleep apnea
- Sex reassignment
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Alcolholism/Drug addiction
- Sickle Cell Anemia
And the list goes on. In case you think I’m blowing smoke uo your ass, here are links to other lists and more information:
Here is a link to Trump’s actual site explaining and reiterating over and over that Republicans aren’t against supporting those with medical conditions. The link also includes that states will have the ability to seek waivers allowing insurers to deny benefits and raise premiums. The writers of the page express again that Republicans don’t wish to eliminate benefits to those with conditions, they merely explain why companies began denying and up-charging in the first place. It’s up to you to decide whether or not this explaination is excusing or justifying the unfairness.
Let’s get into this unfairness, shall we?
- Since I’ve hilariously been called “sexist against men”, let’s start off with women. To be charged extra or denied coverage due to menstral irregularities and pregnancy is simply to be punished for being a female. Would you like to know some causes of irregularities in periods? Adolescence, exercise, diet, stress, family history, medications, etc. Also, PREGNANCY?! Punishment for procreating, premarital sex, or maybe just a means to solve overpopulation? Yeah, those statements might seem ridiculous, but I promise you they’re on par with the ridiculousness of insurers considering pregnancy. Also, sorry gentlemen, but this matters for you as well if you’re going to be marrying a female and/or having a child with one. And you better hope that you have a boy if you do have a child because that girl would possibly have menstral irregularities some day!
- The act seems punitive to our LGBT community as well. Like they need more inequalities. Correct me if I’m wrong, but transsexuality is in no way as expensive a “condition” as something like cancer. To me, this is not a pre-existing medical condition! Sex reassignment could be considered if a person is receiving procedures and medications, but it, along with transsexuality, seem to be included simply to allow for discrimination. With this, AIDS is so often linked to homosexuality, so it’s no surprise that it’s included on the lists.
- Mental illness. No surprise there either, as these people are so often viewed as “weak-minded”. Depression and anxiety are not widely understood as the life-altering disorders that they are but as made-up conditions for people who can’t “deal with reality”, “shake off sadness”, “get over nervousness”, or “deal like everyone else”. Also, the mindset of “why should insurers have to help pay for the “psychos” with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, psychotic disorders, and more?” runs rampant in society. It’s so easy to disregard that mental illnesses often appear in people due to genetics and trauma. So yeah, let’s punish people with horrible healthcare for their conditions that were caused by abuse, rape, endangerment, neglect, and injury!
- Cancer, cystic fibrosis, and organ transplants. This one will really rile people up because, unlike mental illnesses, they’re lucid. People can see the damage these diseases are doing to their sufferers, so they’re actually considered real and important like all severe diseases/disorders should be. So how could something as horrible as cancer make insurers turn their noses up? Well, these diseases are expensive, they have higher death rates, and little to no cure. So somehow, this makes the money aspect more important than human life. Organ transplants are rare, difficult and extremely costly. Insurers know that someone who needed one in the past could really cost them a lot of money just like cancer patients can.
- Obesity, addiction, and diabetes. Again, this is putative. Often, these conditions are viewed as self-caused, so of course they’re going to be considered as burdens in the healthcare world. We love to blame people for their own issues instead of trying to understand them, so it’s easy to justify that people should have to pay more if they can’t stop eating or abusing substances.
- Sickle cell anemia and tuberculosis. These are just more examples of structured discrimination as Sickle Cell Anemia is present mostly in non-white people and TB kills mostly Natuve Americans.
To paint a decent picture, I’m going to make this personal and explain how this could negatively affect me and others like me. I am visually impaired and diagnosed with both ADD and Major Depression. To clarify, I will be stating facts, not fishing for sympathy and pity. I am not pitying myself, I am simply pointing out my reality and how it differs from those that do not have the disorders I have.
My visual impairment affects only 25-34,000 US citizens, causes legal blindness, and has no cure or treatment. Yes, that includes glasses and contacts. As you can imagine-kind of, our lives are pretty different than your full-sighted person’s. Our lives are also very different than the lives of fully-blind people because we walk a very misunderstood line between sighted and not. My disease is much more frequently used as joke material than it is understood; it’s not easy to comprehend a disability that is physically undetectable,e. For me, life includes: inability to see computer screens, menus, street signs, physical books, newspapers, important forms and documents, magazines, white boards and smart boards at school, people at a distanc, my own toenails, my weight on a scale, instructions on food, products, etc.; inability to participate in most sports, card games, ping pong, frisbee throwing, bike riding, art, scuba diving, and so on; inability to be a server, pilot, doctor, surgeon, nurse, engineer, clerk, police officer, military solider, firefighter…you get the point. Only you don’t. Because I’m still slapped in the face all the time by yet another thing I’m unable to do. In order to do things that are simple to most, I have to jump hurdles and test different forms of assistance.
Simply figuring out how to makes things even doable-not easy, is a constant struggle. Getting a job often seems impossible because, not only is it difficult to find a job that I could do, it is no secret to me that employers would prefer fully able employees. Truly, it’s hard to even know my rights as a disabled person, so imagine the difficulties I have when they’re violated. Yes, I’ve been bullied brutally. Yes, I feel misunderstood at times and insanely alone other times. Yes, I sometimes feel worthless and less human. I hate depending on everyone. I feel like a burden. I feel like people look down on me, view me as pathetic. Micro-aggressions are very real and I face them daily. My life would be a constant humiliation if I let it be and finally, yes, my disability was a major contributor to my depression. Do I always experience those things? Of course not, but a lifetime of of those on-and-off feelings and experiences takess it’s toll. It does for everyone with any kind of disorder that makes their life more difficult.
My vision is my cancer, my missing limb, my seemingly fatal condition. An abundance of people, especially those with Trump’s pre-existing conditions , have their own cancer. Their condition has the ability to ruin their lives, whether it is considered significant or not by others. Some might say it’s absolutely ridiculous to compare a vision impairment or a mental illness to cancer, but if you truly attempt to understand, you’ll see that “simple” conditions can lead to major ones and can take your life from you or cause you to take your own.
People who can’t easily get a job are never going to have an equal opportunity to get superb insurance, nor are they going to make enough money to afford a life with no insurance or higher prices! People with fatal diseases cannot work to earn money to pay for their expenses or support their families.
HEALTH CARE IS A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVELAGE!!!