Today Trump, Ryan, and Republicans showed that it is all about discrediting Obama and nothing to do with helping the American people!
May 04, 2017
The latest Republican offering could put health insurance out of reach for the sickest of Americans
More than a quarter of adult Americans under 65 have a pre-existing health issue, which includes everything from asthma and diabetes to heart disease and cancer. Under current law (ACA), insurers cannot deny those or other sick people coverage or charge them more than healthy people. It’s one of the ACA’s most popular provisions.
Donald Trump insists that the GOP’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) makes good on that pledge, and House Speaker Paul Ryan says on his website that “under no circumstance can people be denied coverage because of a pre-existing condition.”
But a recent amendment to the AHCA, co-written by House Republicans Tom MacArthur from New Jersey and Mark Meadows of North Carolina, provides a loophole for pre-existing conditions. It allows states to let insurers charge higher premiums to sicker people if their coverage has lapsed, and if the state has set up a so-called “high-risk pool,” or special health insurance programs for sicker patients.
People with pre-existing conditions are especially likely to have gaps in insurance, because if they become too sick to work they may lose coverage through their employer.
And while those people may technically still have access to insurance, in practice it may be out of their reach. If you can charge sick people whatever you want, that’s effectively denying people coverage.
In Trump’s America, Rape Is a Pre-existing Condition
The amendment in the GOP health-care-reform bill will allow states to deny coverage for pre-existing conditions, including sexual assault.
Pre-Obamacare rape survivors who sought treatment for their injuries could be denied health care later on. Under Obamacare, pre-existing conditions were guaranteed to receive coverage – among them, sexual assault. The American Health Care Act is going to change that.
The new MacArthur-Meadows Amendment will allow states to discriminate based on medical history, reportedly without addressing the subsequent high cost of health care for millions of Americans.
In addition to rape, postpartum depression, Cesarean sections, and surviving domestic violence are all considered pre-existing conditions. Companies can also deny coverage for gynecological services and mammograms.
This story originally stated that rape is considered a pre-existing condition in the AHCA. It has been updated to reflect that conditions stemming from sexual assault and domestic violence, such as PTSD and certain STDs, could be considered preexisting conditions, not sexual assault itself.
A Little-Noticed Target in the House Health Bill: Special Education
With all the sweeping changes the Republican bill will impose, little attention has been paid to its potential impact on education. School districts rely on Medicaid, the federal health care program for the poor, to provide costly services to millions of students with disabilities across the country. For nearly 30 years, Medicaid has helped school systems cover costs for special education services and equipment, from physical therapists to feeding tubes. The money is also used to provide preventive care, such as vision and hearing screenings, for other Medicaid-eligible children.
The new law will cut Medicaid by $880 billion, or 25 percent, over 10 years and impose a “per-capita cap” on funding for certain groups of people, such as children and the elderly – a dramatic change that would convert Medicaid from an entitlement designed to cover any costs incurred to a more limited program.
The ability of school systems to provide services mandated under the federal Individuals With Disabilities Education Act would be strained. The law is supposed to ensure that students with disabilities receive high-quality educational services, but it has historically been underfunded.
Under a little-noticed provision of the health care bill, states would no longer have to consider schools eligible Medicaid providers, meaning they would not be entitled to reimbursements.
“School-based Medicaid programs serve as a lifeline to children who can’t access critical health care and health services outside of their school,” said a letter sent this week by the Save Medicaid in Schools Coalition, which consists of more than 50 organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund, and the School Superintendents Association.
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