Trumpcare Puts American Lives At Risk

Millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to lifesaving, affordable health care thanks to protections guaranteed under the Affordable Care Act.


Trumpcare would gut these essential protections and if Republicans get their way, insurance companies will be able to charge sick people thousands more each year in premiums. That will, according to Politico, “stick the nation’s most vulnerable with skyrocketing insurance costs and far skimpier benefits.”  


Here are a few stories of the as many as 133 million Americans with pre-existing conditions who could have been denied coverage before the Affordable Care Act. Most them would be left out in the cold if they are forced to purchase individual insurance without these protections:


Miami Herald: Nancy Blitz, Florida – went without insurance for a decade, survived breast cancer and is at high risk of reoccurrence, got insured under the ACA

Now, as President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress work to dismantle and possibly replace the health law known as Obamacare, the 59-year-old registered nurse is deeply worried that she’ll have to go back to the uncertainty of life before the ACA rewrote the rules for insurance companies in 2014.”


Rolling Stone: Kendall Brown, Oklahoma – Denied coverage because she had Crohn’s disease, was able to obtain insurance because of the ACA

“This Oklahoma City resident, who suffers from Crohn's Disease, has already benefited once from the Affordable Care Act, which allowed her to stay on her parents' health insurance through age 26. After that, she was unable to find affordable insurance – forcing her to forgo treatment because she couldn't afford the out-of-pocket expenses.  She has now been able to enroll in the exchange, despite the pre-existing condition that previously caused her to be denied by every insurance company.”


Kendall Brown: “The second time Obamacare saved my life, I was 28. After I aged off of my mom’s insurance, insurance companies were able to legally deny me health coverage, because having been born with a disease meant I had a pre-existing condition. By that time, I was undergoing a form of chemo treatments, and on my 27th birthday, I was informed at the hospital that my insurance had declined my treatment. Unless I had the $15,000 the treatment would cost, I had to go home without it. I went home untreated that day. Until the second phase of Obamacare kicked in, preventing insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, they were able to deny me coverage, or just refuse to pay for anything related to my disease.



Los Angeles Times: Colleen Mondor – Couldn’t insure her family and son with type 1 diabetes, until the ACA gave her options

“For Colleen Mondor, whose 15-year-old son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 3 and controls it today with four visits a year to a pediatric endocrinologist, repeal would mean shutting down the aircraft leasing company that she and her husband started and finding a job with employer-paid insurance … Pre-Obamacare, every insurer she applied to for coverage asked about her family’s medical histories. When she told them about her son’s diabetes, as she tweeted earlier this month: ‘That was the end of the conversation, every. single. time.’”


Huffington Post: Jeff Jeans – Conservative small business owner who went without insurance for a year while fighting throat cancer, until the ACA passed

“Jeff Jeans was another victim of the United States’ complicated health insurance system. In 2011, Jeans’ small real estate business went under, so he lost health insurance coverage. Shortly afterward, he found out he had throat cancer. But without insurance, the cost of treatment was going to be a hurdle … After going more than a year without health insurance, Jeans purchased a pre-existing condition insurance plan through the individual marketplace that was created with Obamacare.”



New York Times: Alice Thompson, Wisconsin – Insurers refused to cover anything related to her reproductive system because a doctor had written in her medical record that she would have a hysterectomy

“Likewise, an insurer in Wisconsin refused to cover any treatment related to Alice Thompson’s reproductive system, starting in 2003, because a doctor had written in her medical record that she should have a hysterectomy to eliminate painful menstrual periods. ‘Had I gotten ovarian or uterine cancer, I wouldn’t have been covered,’ said Ms. Thompson, 62, of South Milwaukee. ‘For 10 years, I was living under this uncertainty of ‘what if.’’ Ms. Thompson, an environmental consultant who is now being treated for vision problems and headaches, added that when she switched to an Affordable Care Act plan in 2014, ‘I just remember the sense of relief being huge. Now the specter of all this coming back is horrifying. I don’t think I’m being overly paranoid to think, what if I have to move my business to a different state to get coverage?’”



Los Angeles Times: Ellen Holzman – Denied insurance due to carpal tunnel syndrome, got insured under the ACA

“Last summer Ellen Holzman and Meredith Vezina, a married gay couple in San Diego County, got kicked off their long-term Kaiser health plan, for which they'd been paying more than $1,300 a month … When they applied for a replacement policy with Anthem Blue Cross of California, Ellen, 59, disclosed that she might have carpal tunnel syndrome. She wasn't sure–her condition was still being diagnosed by Kaiser when her coverage ended. But the possibility was enough to scare Anthem. ‘They said, 'We will not insure you because you have a pre-existing condition,'‘ Holzman recalls. But they were lucky, thanks to Obamacare. Through Covered California, the state's individual insurance marketplace, they've found a plan through Sharp Healthcare that will cover them both for a total premium of $142 a month, after a government subsidy based on their income.”


New York Times: Fran Cannon Slayton, Virginia – A children’s book author with brain cancer

Slayton “is near despair about the resurfaced Republican plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which the White House and Republicans are pushing for a vote as soon as this week… Her chief concern is the amendment to the Republican bill that would allow states to opt out of several requirements, including what some say is the crux of the current health law: the ban on insurance companies charging higher premiums to people, like Ms. Slayton, with pre-existing medical conditions.”