So this writing is going to hit a little bit homes and be non-technical in nature but my personal and professional experience in the healthcare industry should lend some credence to this. Also, this is just a fraction of what is actually going on but we can dive into more stuff later.
I am writing this from a hospital bed (don’t worry….I will be fine). As I write this I am watching news outlets seeing that the American Healthcare Act bill has been passed by the House. Now I must stop and state (full disclosure) I have insurance from my employer so what I may say does not apply to me right now. The new bill that will now be debated by congress, in my opinion, is not a good bill for many reasons. I don’t write this lightly or with an ideological scope in mind, but as a possible infected patient.
I have chronic illnesses for 20 years and do a pretty good job taking care of myself though I do struggle sometimes. Saying that, that means I have a (dramatic music) “pre-existing condition”!!! I started working for a healthcare tech company in 2009 and was given a full benefits package which included full insurance. I was excited to have this because my monthly medical bills we now going to be cut down. Anyone would be happy about this; unless you realize that since I have a pre-existing condition, I could not have insurance for one year. So, though I was paying for commercial insurance, I did not have insurance because of which I was and what I deal with day to day. Some of you may see that and feel bad for me, and some may say, “Just don’t be sick” [that phrase may sound crazy, but I have heard it before]. But there are medical events that happen that no one can help.
So, when the Affordable Care Act [aka Obamacare] was passed in 2010, I was most glad to see that pre-existing conditions can’t be stopped by insurance companies as a basis to deny healthcare to people like myself and others [remember: being pregnant or a victim of sexual assault is a pre-existing condition]. This meant equally for all not just on a health level but a financial level. Yes, I know that Obamacare was paid before by taxing the rich [aka “Job Creators”…I hate that saying] and having younger people sign in who did not have healthcare. But to combat that, I challenge you to go find five people who do not have insurance and do not want insurance. Newsflash: you won’t.
The ACA has many problems and I think it’s “partially” broken but can be fixed. We live in the greatest country on earth but spend exponentially more on healthcare than ever y other country on earth. Also, healthcare as a whole is one-sixth of the total economy of the USA. I just read the bill that was passed by congress, with no committee, no full debate, no hearing, and most importantly, no CBO score to see who this will actually affect in a non-partisan manner. In 2009, then Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) stated “I don’t know if we should pass a bill that we don’t know the cost to” (credit MSNBC). We don’t know the cost and people like me are being given the royal screw job by taking the condition away and giving it to states too basically given an end-run around it. They do this by allowing states to create “high-risk” pools for people. Meaning you will be in a separate bracket from healthy people and can be charged multiple times more just because of who you are and the cards you are dealt (remember: being raped is considered “cards dealt”)
This bill deals with a ton of different issues but I wanted to focus on one that speaks near and dear to me. If you read this, chances are you are healthy and have no issues. But, someone you know can be gravely affected by this. We are all Americans and should be treated as such: what does it say if a law states that just because of what condition you have or what has been done to you, you have to be treated differently. All mean are created equal…this bill says no.