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Monday, May 8, 2017

Under Trumpcare, being a woman is a pre-existing condition


House Republicans managed to pass their healthcare bill on May 4, just barely, and it is truly a despicable piece of legislation.

The right-wing nutjobs who have taken over the Republican party, AKA the Freedom Caucus, refused to vote in favor of the bill as long as Obamacare’s protections for pre-existing conditions remained intact. So, the GOP said the hell with it and gutted protections for the sick in order to gain their votes.

Think it can’t get any worse? WRONG. As if taking health care from 24 million people and removing protections for pre-existing conditions isn’t bad enough, what qualifies as a pre-existing condition is even worse.

Among possible pre-existing conditions that could result in outrageous premiums are rape and sexual assault. Seriously. Rape.

NYMag reports:
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 preexisting conditions. Companies can also deny coverage for gynecological services and mammograms.
The amendment also says that “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting health insurance issuers to discriminate in rates for health insurance coverage by gender.”

But, ummm, did you look at what qualifies as a pre-existing condition? Insurance companies don’t have to cover “gynecological services and mammograms” that screen for cancer?

How many men are gonna need a C-section? How many men have postpartum depression? How many men need a pap smear to check for cervical cancer?

Seems pretty damn obvious that being a woman is a pre-existing condition itself.

Paul Ryan and Donald Trump have tried to claim that pre-existing conditions are covered, but that isn’t exactly the truth. The “MacArthur-Meadows amendment” would allow states to opt out of federal regulations and allow insurance companies to charge higher premiums for people who have pre-existing conditions.

Since this was the law of the land before the Affordable Care Act, we know what happens when you give insurance companies this option: they set premiums so high that sick people are priced out of insurance coverage altogether.

So now, besides the shame, fear, and trauma that have traditionally kept women from seeking medical care after they are sexually assaulted, rape victims now get to worry that they will lose their health insurance if they get help. What the actual f*ck is wrong with these people? This is as disgusting as it gets.


Author April Hamlin has studied political science, psychology, and philosophy. Back in the good old days she was a reporter for “old fashioned” print newspapers. In addition to news and politics, she also blogs about service dogs and disability advocacy. As a black woman with a disability, she is fed up with the right-wingers who would prefer that she and others like her didn’t exist.