AHCA is Discrimination against the Disabled

How can members of the Senate plan to pass a bill that leaves 57 million people paying more for health insurance and in fact will cost 15-25 million of those disabled Americans to lose their coverage because of “Pre Existing” Conditions. This assault on the health of Americans goes beyond that because according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that under the House bill, such changes would cut Medicaid spending by $834bn over 10 years, and lead to 23 million fewer people having insurance coverage.

The Guardian went on to state “The Senate healthcare plan, like the House bill that narrowly passed last month, would phase out Medicaid expansion under the ACA, under which 31 states and the District of Columbia added more than 11 million low-income adults to the program.”

Furthermore according to the Guardian “Medicaid is the nation’s largest public insurance program, providing health benefits to nearly 74 million Americans including low-income adults and children, seniors and people with disabilities. It has unparalleled reach: about half of all babies are born on Medicaid and four in 10 children are covered by Medicaid or its sister benefit, the Children’s Health Insurance Program.”

Just what does taking away the ACA protections for disabled persons with Pre-Existing conditions. It means no more transfer to other insurers because a disabled person need payments for cancer medicines when their current policy reaches its caps. According to the AAPD ( American Association of People with Disabilities) “The AHCA gives states the power to decide whether or not they will provide coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. When states had the option to expand Medicaid, many did not take it and left millions of people with disabilities uncovered or with insufficient coverage to live independently. It is likely that many of these same states will opt to leave people with pre-existing conditions without coverage. Proponents of the AHCA argue that it provides $8 billion for states to set up high-risk pools to cover those with pre-existing conditions who are unable to find affordable coverage on the open market. This pool of funding is inadequate to guarantee affordable coverage.

Furthermore, the AHCA would slash Medicaid funding by over $800 billion and end Medicaid expansion, leaving states with the option to provide less coverage to existing Medicaid recipients, reduce the number of people who receive Medicaid, or both. The AHCA would also reduce or eliminate essential health benefits (including prescription drugs, mental health services, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, and more).

Unfortunately, it is difficult to gauge the full impact of the bill that was passed because the House voted on it without waiting for an analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a nonpartisan federal agency that provides budget and economic information to Congress. The CBO analysis of an earlier version of the AHCA estimated that 24 million people could lose their health insurance within ten years.”

DSHE formally opposes any healthcare plan to change the pre-existing conditions protections of the Affordable Care Act. But unfortunately by the time anyone reads this the Senate which only needs 50 votes will have passed the bill. We can only hope the 4 Republican holdouts are given what they want to get the AHCA passed.

I will leave you with what one person said to the Guardian “My story is so many other people’s story,” Merlino said. “This new bill they’ve come out out with, it targets poor people and you never know when you were going to be that poor person. “I didn’t know. I had a very good job and suddenly I was making below the poverty level. You never know when you’re going to become that person with a pre-existing condition without the ACA rules.”