Yesterday the house voted to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. As you may know, the new bill, the American Health Care Act (being referred to as “Trumpcare”), has some pretty bad provisions for the sick, the elderly and the poor. Loss of insurance for millions of Americans, increased premiums for older people (over age 40), the ability to deny coverage for maternity care and slashed funding for Medicaid are just the tip of the iceberg. The revised version also includes the new “MacArthur amendment” that, among other things, allows states to waive the requirement for insurance companies to cover preexisting conditions.
Preexisting conditions can include:
- Mental illness (think anxiety and depression)
- Chronic diseases including all disease associated with the most common illnesses in the state, like diabetes, heart disease, etc.
Given the track record of the state of Utah on health care, it is very likely that Utah will apply for the preexisting conditions waiver if the AHCA makes it through the Senate. That means anyone with a preexisting condition in Utah could be denied health insurance.
Preexisting conditions in Utah
The Kaiser Family Foundation estimates that at least 23% of Utahns have a deniable preexisting condition. The Utah Health Policy Project estimates the total number to be closer to 40 or 50%. This means that chances are pretty good that you or the person sitting next to you would be denied insurance coverage under the AHCA.
Do you remember what it was like before the ACA trying to get health coverage? I do. I was once denied coverage for having tonsillitis. Tonsillitis. We want to know what you and your loved ones have been denied for. And we want our Senators to know it too.
CALL TO ACTION
Ever been denied health insurance for a preexisting condition? Will you to tell us why you and/or a loved one could be denied coverage or why you were denied coverage before the ACA? Preexisting conditions can be big (like cancer) or small (like back pain), but all can be grounds for insurers to deny coverage to Utahn. It’s time to share our preexisting conditions to show our legislators just how badly Trumpcare would impact our state. Here’s how #MyPreexistingCondition works:
- COMMENT on this Facebook post with “I was denied for [condition]. [zip code]” For example, I would write, “I was denied for tonsillitis. 84098” Another person might write “I could be denied for asthma. 84721”
- Write a TWEET with #MyPreexistingCondition and tag our U.S. Senators. Tweets should look like this: “I was denied for [condition]. [zip code] #MyPreexistingCondition @senorrinhatch @SenMikeLee”
- Invite your friends and family members to join in by posting and tweeting as well.
- Don’t use social media? Want to remain anonymous? You can still participate! Just email us your response here, and we will post your comments anonymously on our own Facebook and Twitter accounts. Just be sure to include your zip code and preexisting condition.