Women are Effed if the House GOP Health Bill actually Passes

Women are Effed if the House GOP Health Bill actually Passes

After the GOP’s first attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare in March failed, on Thursday the house passed a new version of the healthcare bill. But this time the bill hinged on Americans with pre-existing conditions. If you’re not sure what exactly a pre-existing condition is: it’s a health condition that existed before healthcare coverage goes into effect. In other words, it can be anything. Now here’s where things get ugly.

Before former president Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA), quite a few things fell into this category, ranging from pregnancy, sexual assault, domestic violence, and even C-sections. That’s right girl. The original amendment would give health insurances the option to deny patients with pre-existing conditions due to heavy costs. The ACA made that shit illegal.

In fact, back in 2010 before the ACA became law, a 45-year-old woman named Christina Turner was actually turned away by her insurance company because she’d been raped. Feeling sick to your stomach yet?  Wait, it gets worse. This poor woman who was drugged and sexually assaulted, was prescribed a month’s worth of prophylactic medication to prevent HIV infection. You know just in case. But even though Turner wound up never being infected with the virus, when a prospective insurer saw the prescription for prophylactic medication on her health record, the company then refused to cover her until three or more years after she proved she was actually AIDS-free.

Trump’s new healthcare act originally tried to do away with coverage for pre-existing conditions but since moderate Republicans refused to vote for it, they had to make some modifications. But the modifications are bullshit.

Now $8 billion worth of funding will be used to help cover insurance costs for people with pre-existing conditions. But it’s still not enough, which means patients with pre-existing conditions whether it be asthma or even cancer, could face extremely high insurance premiums. As in premiums they might not be able to afford. Again, pre-existing conditions also includes women who have C-sections, post-partum depression or are victims of sexual assault, rape, and domestic violence. A woman who is pregnant could face a premium increase by as much as $17,000.  How is this not considered a direct attack towards women?

Obamacare specifically placed policies to protect women and individuals with pre-existing conditions, while the AHCA will only make it more expensive for them. This is straight up health care discrimination. Now here’s what this actually means for women or anyone else who has a “pre-existing condition.” What this type of discrimination actually does is that it forces people (in this case many women) to have to choose between seeking treatment and paying a hell of a lot more to their health insurance or just refusing to see a doctor at all. That means not having their pre-existed condition treated and putting themselves at serious risk health-wise.

This is a massive deal and considering how gender-specific things like post-partum depression, pregnancy and C-sections are, one can’t help but wonder if this bill was created specifically to discriminate against women. Even domestic violence and sexual assault has much higher rates for women than for men. So does Trump find women to be a “pre-existing condition?” Because that’s certainly how this is coming off.

Whether this legislation winds up passing or not, one thing is clear and that’s the message the House GOP is trying to send to women. They are telling us that women to them don’t matter. How the eff we have a president and an administration that can give two hoots about women in the year 2017, is not just mind-boggling but straight up infuriating.

The Women’s March was just step one ladies. The fight is far from over and we still can take action and do our part to prevent the AHCA from actually becoming a law. Yes, we have the power to do that! Start off by calling the two senators of your state. Just tell them your name and that you want to oppose the AHCA or send them an email. Get the women AND men in your communities to do the same. We need everyone’s support. If the GOP wants to continue this war against women and lower income people, we’ll give them a war. But they better be ready because we aren’t going down without a fight.

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Written by By Johanna Ferreira

Read more of Johanna's work here and here.

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