An Open Letter to My Senators on Trumpcare

On May 4, 2017, the House elected to push through a plan known as “Trumpcare”, which would replace the ACA or “Obamacare”. Here’s the main things you need to know about this proposed bill.
  1. You won’t be required to purchase healthcare, but those subsidies are going to be a thing of the past, taking pricing back to what we remembered around 2012 (before ACA took effect)…or higher.
  2. States can elect to not cover “essential health benefits” like mental health and substance-abuse services, prescription drugs, preventive care, maternity care, emergency services and lab services.
  3. These essential benefits will fall into a waiver category, which will also allow insurance companies in the state to charge more for pre-existing conditions.
  4. Medicaid roll outs are a thing of the past and states can elect to implement a work requirement to receive benefits, similar to what some states enforce now for public benefits like food stamps and welfare.
  5. Some of the “pre-existing” conditions that will hike your premiums include:AIDS/HIV, autoimmune disorders, acid reflux, ADD, anemia, arthritis, autism, breast cancer, cancers, disabilities, down syndrome, epilepsy, glaucoma, gout, heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, hysterectomy, osteoporosis, mental/psychiatric conditions, nasal polyps, paralysis, paraplegia, pregnancy, restless leg syndrome, seasonal affective disorder, skin cancer, sleep disorders, stroke, thyroid issues, tooth disease and ulcers.

Seeing as I fall into quite a few of these boxes, I’m understandably concerned about the future of my healthcare. It’s not an easy road to be uninsured, and even worse when you have chronic health conditions. I’m already at a disadvantage for healthcare because I’m a resident of Kentucky, but am spending a lot of this year with my family in Florida. I have an open case for disability, but with corruption in our state, my timeline for actually appearing before a judge this year is stretched thinner and thinner.

Something as simple as a letter to your Senators and House Representatives can really make an impact on how this bill is implemented or torn apart. I took the time to write a letter to my Senators, Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell…two Republicans who have been very active in pushing this bill through, to ask them to stop and think about what repercussions they really are having on the nation, as far as health care is concerned.

Sen. Rand Paul
Sen. Mitch McConnell
Dear Sirs:
Repealing ACA to replace it with Trumpcare is an action that will negatively impact Kentucky and the country more than it will help. As a disabled individual with a rare disease, care is incredibly difficult. Less than 20,000 people in the country share my chronic diagnosis, and they all would be severely negatively impacted by this action.
Before ACA, I was in the hospital once a month because I could not afford a private policy or outpatient care. Clinics for low income patients are ill equipped for patients like me. Beyond strep, UTIs and the annual Pap, the solution was to send me to the hospital…a costly venture. I am unable to maintain steady employment and applied for SSA benefits in August 2015. After two rejected appeals, I was granted the opportunity to appear before a judge in an ALJ hearing. That date was in March 2016…I still do not have a hearing date. Due to the corruption of a certain disability attorney and judge, I may have to wait longer than the projected 20 months.
Every day I attempt to find temporary work, but often get dismissed from it due to absences. I have had to move in with my parents…as a 32 year old woman who was self sufficient before 2014. I am filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to forgive my massive medical debts. I must do this pro se because Legal Aid does not assist with bankruptcy and no attorney I’ve found in Lexington will help me pro bono.
I have radically reduced my expenses and my family has put my three bills for my car loan, my car insurance and my cell phone on their credit cards when I could not work, and I fear I’ll never be able to repay them.
My one hope is to continue to receive Medicaid benefits, see my fifteen specialists, and attempt to rehabilitate me to a point where getting out of bed does not exhaust me. I would like to be granted SSA and finish my bachelors degree (a goal impeded by my ability to attend classes) and work independently as a civil mediator.
There’s a program within SSA that can help me finish school, get my training and return to the workplace called PASS, and I desperately want to feel “human” enough to return to work. Disability can be very lonely. Not being able to work or socialize impedes your relationships, leading to increased anxiety and depression.
Under the current Trumpcare proposal, I check the boxes of no less than 12 of the pre-existing conditions that will not prevent me from being insured, but can dramatically raise my premiums. The solution for aiding our sick and lower income citizens is not to burden them further. Many of the pre-existing conditions are exclusive to women, which sends the message that you believe females are liabilities and not the assets I know many of them to be. This exhausting list is biased and discriminatory, and should be reviewed immediately.
You have a duty to take a look at AHCA and note that the provisions in it as a whole are more detriment to the American people than a help. You must reject this bill and send it back to the drawing board, where it should be dissected, analyzed and pieced back together in a way that marries the overall goals of ACA, AHCA and reflects the needs of our nation as a whole. I speak for myself, and other faces, disabled or not, who you owe a fair and just healthcare policy.
Thank you for your time and kind consideration.
Read More: Read a Complete List of Pre-Existing Conditions that Could Raise Your Premiums Under Trumpcare.