Let's Talk about the Affordable Care Act

1:32 PM chronicmigraineellie 0 Comments

In the past couple weeks, I've done a lot of reflecting. I've been thinking about healthcare in America, and how legislators have been approaching healthcare. When many legislators think about healthcare, it falls into partisan territory. The Republicans did x. The Democrats did y. Each party feels the need to rescind and de-legitimize what the previous party did. Currently, this is playing out in the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (commonly known as Obamacare).

While the ACA is not perfect, it has allowed millions of Americans access to healthcare at lesser costs. As of 2015, 16.4 million uninsured people gained health coverage (HHS.gov). An estimated 55 million women are "benefitting from preventative services coverage with no out of pocket costs and health insurers can no longer discriminate based on gender either (HHS.gov). Furthermore, as a result of Medicaid expansion, healthcare costs were reduced by an estimated $7.4 billion in 2014. There is higher quality coverage, less avoidable hospital readmissions and improved patient safety. Since the ACA was passed in 2010, more than 11 million people saved an average of $2,100 a person on prescription drugs (CNN).
Why would we get rid of this?

With the repeal of the ACA, millions of people would lose their insurance. Not only that, but if the pre-existing protections were to be repealed then 133 million people, or 51% of non-elderly Americans would lose their coverage. If that doesn't worry you, let me tell you a bit more. Some of the most common pre-existing conditions are: high blood pressure (46 million people), behavioral health disorders (45 million people), asthma or chronic lung disease (34 million people), heart conditions (16 million people), diabetes (13 million people), and cancer (11 million people) (HHS.gov) And yes, migraines are also on the list of pre-existing conditions. as well as epilepsy and many more. In his town hall, Paul Ryan said that only 8% of all Americans under 65 have pre-existing conditions (CNN). I have no idea where he got that statistic, but I do know that there is such an overwhelming number of Americans with pre-existing conditions that there is no way that statistic could be correct.

Knowing this information, how can any legislator take away these protections? It's because in the United States, we are seen as faceless and nameless when governmental decisions are being made. We are just part of a statistic. The consequences don't feel real, they are just hypothetical. But they're not. There are real consequences to repealing the ACA, and they will affect everyone. No one will be safe. If you get sick, there is a good chance that you will have trouble finding insurance to cover the cost of your treatment.

So now that I've just told you all of these facts, you must be thinking, what can I do? You can call your representatives and senators and tell them that you oppose the repeal of the ACA, or if you have problems with it, tell them the specific law that you do not like. The best way to get the best healthcare initiative in America is to make our voices heard. Email, write, protest, do whatever you feel that you need to do.

I am starting a project to make sure that legislators and Americans know that pre-existing conditions are real and very prevalent. The best way to influence change is to stop being faceless and nameless and show that we do exist. We have lives, families, dreams, hopes and passions. We are real, and we should have a say in what happens to healthcare in America. I hope to start this project very soon, but I need to learn more about other people's experiences.

 If you have a story about your pre-existing condition, please fill out this form. Don't hesitate to contact me with questions and if you would like to remain anonymous you can. I will continue to fight for increased access to healthcare, will you?