Despite the decision by Speaker Paul Ryan (or Donald Trump, depending on who you ask) to pull the House GOP health care bill vote in March, Republicans vowed to revisit the controversial legislation. Sure enough, between Trump’s strange intra-party threats and the MacArthur-Meadows Amendment to attract votes from detractors or undecideds, the American Health Care Act returned with a vengeance on Thursday, despite lacking a CBO score.
The vote to officially deliver on seven years’ worth of promises to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act is scheduled for the early afternoon, and those keeping track of the whip counts believe it may pass and advance to the Senate.
Seeing as how, come Thursday evening, Trumpcare may be one step closer to becoming a reality, how might the convoluted bill’s key provisions affect Americans who currently depend upon Obamacare? Many of the protections included in former President Barack Obama’s key legislative output, be they original inclusions or later updates, are on the chopping block. Some, like the disputed individual mandate requiring all persons to obtain insurance or face a tax penalty, are more fiscal in nature. Others, like protections against higher premiums (or no coverage whatsoever) for those with pre-existing conditions, are more problematic.
If you have a pre-existing condition, you’re screwed
Aside from the individual mandate (and its equivalent for employers), one of the most debated attributes of Obamacare was its sweeping protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Before the ACA’s passage in 2010, insurance companies often charged higher premiums for persons with health issues that were determined to exist prior to the start of coverage. (That, or they didn’t offer coverage at all.) This was especially troublesome for patients undergoing cancer treatment, or receiving care pertaining to other long-term, life-threatening issues. According to Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Alabama), however, this is unfair to “those people who lead good lives,” are “healthy” and have “done the things to keep their bodies healthy” over time.