Parents Magazine wants you to freak out about the prospect of the AHCA becoming law. If you’re a mom, ever hope to become a mom, or may someday be the partner to a mom, the AHCA is about to make your life more complicated and expensive… if you believe the mainstream media narrative.
Boston Medical Center OB/GYN Dr. Kristyn Brandi told Parents, “Things that are incredibly common for women, including C-sections, pregnancy and postpartum care, will all be considered preexisting conditions.” Social media lit up with the rumor that sexual assault might even count as a preexisting condition.
This “information” is a stretch at best. The AHCA still requires insurance companies to offer plans to everyone. No insurance company can turn you away outright.
Reason explains that under the AHCA, “states can apply for waivers that will allow insurance companies, under certain limited circumstances, to charge higher premiums to people based on their personal medical histories… [those states] must also set up special high-risk insurance pools to try and help defray costs for these people.”
For any medical condition to count as a preexisting condition, two criteria must be met:
- The patient must have had a lapse in coverage (a period of being uninsured before buying a new plan.) If you have continuous coverage, you’re in the clear.
- The patient must live in a state that has applied for and received a federal waiver. This waiver allows insurance companies to look at preexisting conditions if and only if the person has recently been uninsured.
Oh, and by the way? For any of this to go into effect, the AHCA would have to pass the Senate in its current form. Senate Democrats want the bill struck down because it strips some of Obamacare’s major provisions. Under the AHCA, the individual mandate is abolished. In other words, you can choose to remain uninsured without paying that $695 tax penalty. However, should you choose to have a gap in coverage, insurance companies can charge you more when you buy insurance later on.
Senate Republicans are cautious about the AHCA for different reasons. As soon as President Trump signs a GOP healthcare bill, the Republican Party effectively “owns” that issue – for better or for worse. When Democrats passed Obamacare in 2010, the electoral consequences were devastating: Democrats lost 83 seats in Congress during the Obama presidency.
Republicans are rightly concerned that passing “Trumpcare” could similarly erase their Congressional majorities, if the law is anything less than a drastic improvement over the current system.
Millions of people lost their insurance plans under the Affordable Care Act. The AHCA seeks to fix that problem by allowing states to waive the “essential health benefits” requirement that Obamacare put in place. Right now, you cannot legally purchase a plan that only covers catastrophic care. The AHCA could allow you to purchase a bare-bones plan – which is an appealing option for people who are young, healthy, and not exactly flush with cash.
If you were one of the lucky ones who kept your plan under the ACA, you still might be feeling the brunt of rising premiums. Here, too, the AHCA steps in. According to the Independent Women’s Forum’s Hadley Health Manning in The Federalist, “The Parents article fails to mention that the AHCA includes a universal, advanceable, refundable tax available to anyone making under $75,000 annually.” If you shell out for a monthly premium, you get to save that money on your taxes.
Still, misinformation about the AHCA persists. Does ungrounded fear count as a preexisting condition?