A Zebra’s voice by Hana Belanger

    The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has several flaws to it. However, flawed coverage is much better than no coverage, especially when it comes to healthcare in America. President Trump and Congress want to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would be devastating to those who would not have insurance if it was not for the ACA. It is estimated that repealing Obamacare will result in 43,000 deaths annually. This is scary for anyone. Anyone can get a life threatening/ life altering illness in their lifetime. No one wants it, no one knows when it will happen, and no one wants to be left dead because treatment is too expensive.
         Okay, so let’s say you are under 26. I’m 18 myself. No need to worry about insurance, right? Wrong. The ACA added an amendment in 2014 that let young adults stay on their parent’s insurance until 26. Without this amendment, young adults who are older than 19 and are not in school would have to find their own insurance. Healthcare is hard enough to understand, making finding insurance hard. For young adults, however, it is extremely complex. Most don’t understand it and would rather be uninsured and risk paying a fine. Others are struggling to find ways to pay off student loans and afford health insurance.  
       So you already have your own health insurance? What about pre-existing medical conditions? I also have a rare genetic condition known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. EDS is a group of connective tissue disorders that can effect any and every system that has collagen, which makes up 80% of the human body. Since EDS is genetic in origin, it is considered a pre-existing medical condition, no matter when you were diagnosed. In my case, I wasn’t diagnosed until I was 15. Now I admit, I live in Massachusetts, one of the most progressive states in the country, and our state healthcare program was the inspiration for Obamacare. In Massachusetts you can not be denied health insurance based on a pre-existing condition. Other states are not so lucky. Under the ACA insurance companies are not allowed to deny people because of pre-existing conditions as of 2014. When this act is repealed, 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions could be in jeopardy of losing their insurance depending on what state they live in. One in four Americans have or will be diagnosed with what is considered a pre-existing condition. How is a pre-existing condition defined? In the context of American Healthcare it is defined as a medical condition that started before a person’s health insurance goes into effect. This could be you, and you wouldn’t even know it!
      There are so many more reasons that could mean life or death. These are just two reasons that connect to me. Also without the ACA insurance companies could randomly drop you, the end of “lifetime limits”, the ability to repeal if insurance denies you necessary treatment, the ability to choose your own doctors and hospitals, and so much more. We can not risk losing these very necessary human rights. This is not a political issue, this is a life or death issue. Until we establish a stable replacement we can not lose the ACA or any of its amazing amendments that help save human lives daily. We all are human after all. Be a shame if we lost our constitutional right to life over politics.

Post written by Hana Belanger, published by Sweet Lemon Pies with permission. 

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