#IAmAPreExistingCondition: My Personal Opinions on the AHCA

Well, you can definitely tell where I stand on all of it. But here is what I wrote on Facebook after the AHCA was voted through Congress.

 

“When you are living with an illness that is second only to cancer in expense of treatment/economic burden, as I am, (rheumatoid arthritis, although I live with several other health problems as well…) the possible removal of out-of-pocket caps is potentially devastating to patients like myself, regardless of what kind of health insurance you have.

And when you live with a chronic illness since childhood, as I have, the fact that individual states may now be able to opt out of protecting people with pre-existing conditions is terrifying. For many, high risk pools may as well be death panels. And if you’ve studied history, that’s not TOO much of an exaggeration, to be honest.

People naïvely thought this would only affect elderly, the poor, and/or those on individual plans… But guess what? This also has the potential to affect people on group based employer plans.

So now, I will live in worry alongside tens of millions of other Americans.

Have you had a C-section? Pre-existing condition. Do you have allergies or asthma? Pre-existing condition. Do you have arthritis? Pre-existing condition. Were you ever sexually assaulted? Pre-existing condition. Do you have diabetes, or a pacemaker? Pre-existing condition. Heart disease? Pre-existing condition. Smoker? Pre-existing condition. Obese? Pre-existing condition. Epilepsy? Pre-existing condition. Depression or bipolar disorder? Pre-existing condition. History of drug addiction? Pre-existing condition. An autoimmune disease? Pre-existing condition. Any form of cancer? Pre-existing condition.

You aren’t safe just because you have good health insurance and coverage at the moment.

Pre-existing conditions affect between 1/3 and 1/2 of all Americans. So it isn’t just those of us with a lifelong/expensive illness who will be affected. It’s many of you, too. Your premiums may go up. You may become less easily insurable. And you may expect higher co-pays and more out of pocket expenses. This is whether or not you have a plan under ‘Obamacare’ right now.

I am not making this up. The people who are reporting these facts are not making it up. This is not fake news. This is reality. Welcome to it.

I am sickened and heartbroken by the ignorance, selfishness, greed, lack of empathy, and lack of humanity in our government… especially when it comes to those who proclaim to be ‘Christians.’

Whatever happened to “what would Jesus do?” Because, well, I can’t speak for Him, I highly doubt it would be this.

I’m usually not so outspoken, but I am angry, heartbroken, and devastated by this. I do not mean to offend any of you on a personal level. And I try not to get too deep into politics on here.

But — this is more than a political issue for me. I am a patient … and a patient advocate… and a medical news reporter. I work with several charities that are related to health and medical issues. A huge part of my life and my identity revolves around my role as a patient and a patient leader.

So, obviously I am upset and worried. Especially when, (and I’m not exaggerating,) I have been on medications that are $30,000 per treatment out-of-pocket. I had two of these treatments just two weeks apart. Thank goodness that because of certain stipulations involved in the passing of the ACA, my insurance capped how much I have to pay out-of-pocket. Because of the oh-so-horrific Obamacare, I had to pay a whopping total of … zero dollars for those $30,000 apiece infusions. Now, I face potentially being unable to even go on a new rheumatoid arthritis medication, if those patient expense caps are removed as this new bill could allow them to be. Why might I be unable to go on a new medication? Because these drugs are not cheap and who knows if I could afford the co-pay. I would really rather not have to find out. This will be a stressful journey. And I have to worry a lot less than people who are not on a group policy. But I also have to worry a lot more than people who do not live with a chronic medical condition.

My only hope is that the AHCA as it stands now doesn’t pass through the Senate. I will surely be praying for myself and all of my fellow Americans, regardless of how healthy they are or what political views they hold. Healthcare shouldn’t be a luxury. It should be a right. Politics and socioeconomic status should not dictate whether or not you can be cared for if you’re ill. Nor should illnesses or medical conditions that you were born with.

Last summer, when I was asked why I was so against Trump, my answers were too plentiful to list. My primary two concerns, however, were healthcare, and the potential of World War III.

Let’s just say that nothing that has gone on in these first 100+ days has eased my mind about either one. Very sad and disconcerting.

Senate… please be the heroes here and do not let this new healthcare bill come to fruition! ACA isn’t perfect but it sure is better than this!  Do the right thing.

#bummed

I talk about it in this FB Video, too.

People can try to paint it in a positive light, but my response to that is this:

I don’t proclaim to have have all the answers …

Except that i know it isn’t this.

Most doctors, healthcare systems, patients, analysts, and insurers agree.

So I’ll take the word of actual professional analysts and doctors on both sides of the aisle instead of just listening to average republican — or democrat — citizens, who do not work in the field.

Everyone agrees that the ACA needs fixed but it’s a fallacy that “we have nothing to worry about” with AHCA. Maybe you don’t. But most of us do. I won’t rejoice over the misfortune and uncertainty of millions. Ever.

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