The GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare have been long, complicated, and incredibly contentious. In May, House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA)—which the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected would cause 23 million Americans to lose health insurance over the next decade. Then, Republicans in the Senate revised the bill, renaming it the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). The bill was designed to pass the Senate quickly—within the same week it was introduced. The CBO projected that the BCRA would cause 22 million Americans to lose health insurance over the next decade—making it barely better than the House’s AHCA. The latest update: Republican Senate leaders have now decided to postpone the BCRA vote until after the Fourth of July recess.
In light of this ongoing battle, one mother decided to post a photo of her son’s health care bill on Twitter. And her picture resonated with more than 87,000 social media users.
Ali Chandra, a New Jersey pediatric nurse and full-time mom, has two children. Her youngest, a 2-year-old named Ethan, has a rare heart-related condition called heterotaxy. He was born with nine congenital heart defects, two left lungs, and five spleens. Ethan’s health care bills been frequent and expensive, but her current health insurance has made it easier for Chandra and her family to get Ethan the high-quality care he needs—and to do so affordably.
“It seems fitting that, with the #TrumpCare debate raging, I got this bill in the mail today from Ethan’s most recent open heart surgery,” Chandra wrote in her tweet. The image she shared shows the itemized expenses from that open heart surgery—they add up to more than $230,000 worth of care. But because of the health insurance protections Chandra currently has, she only had to pay $500. Those numbers speak for themselves.
To be clear, I don’t know what insurance plan Chandra had before or after Obamacare, and I can’t say definitively that Obamacare is the reason she’s been able to afford the high-quality care her son needs. But what I do know is that whatever health insurance plan Chandra currently has is keeping her from going bankrupt as her son gets the life-saving medical care she needs, and people are worried that people like Chandra may not be able to do the same under Trumpcare.
Obamacare isn’t perfect, but it’s kept insurers from setting yearly or lifetime limits on coverage expenses—which children like Ethan can blow through quickly. These limits are exactly what they sound like: Once an insurer has spent a predetermined amount of money on a client, they can stop paying for covered benefits. This can leave families choosing between coverage and financial stability, and these caps can even apply to insurance that people get through their employers. Obamacare prevents insurance providers from setting these limits, but Trumpcare likely wouldn’t.
Not to mention, Obamacare has prevented insurance companies from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions. Ethan’s a child, so he’s on his parents’ health care plan. But if we live in a world without these protections by the time he’s grown up, he might have a harder time getting health care coverage. Insurers could charge him extremely high premiums or refuse to cover him at all—just because he was born with heterotaxy.
Ethan doesn’t deserve to be denied life-saving medical care because of a pre-existing condition he can’t help having, and Chandra’s family should never be forced to make the choice their son’s life-saving medical care and their financial stability because of coverage limits.
See Ali Chandra’s tweet below.
If you want to make sure Congress doesn’t repeal Obamacare without a suitable replacement already in place, there’s still time to make your voice heard. SELF’s resources on finding activist opportunities and getting involved in policy decisions are great places to start. If you’re passionate about women’s access to reproductive healthcare in particular, you can also consider: donating to the Center for Reproductive Rights, volunteering for NARAL Pro-Choice America, donating to the Reproductive Health Access Project, or volunteering for Planned Parenthood. Other organizations can help families in need access affordable childcare, job training, and much-needed food and household supplies.
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Source Article from http://www.self.com/story/health-care-bill