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What the Health Care Overhaul Means for a Disabled Woman Like Me

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President Trump recently got a bill through the House that would change the current health care laws. In short, this law would allow health insurance companies to either hike up costs or deny coverage altogether for an assortment of “preexisting conditions” such as psychiatric disorders, autism, asthma, and pregnancy… just to name a few. That would put nearly 1 out of every 2 Americans in a bind very shortly, potentially leaving them without proper health care. Granted, the bill still needs to pass the Senate, however the whole situation is looking rather grim.

I am considered disabled. I am also a woman who has been pregnant. I have many conditions I could be denied coverage for under this bill. Quite honestly, that scares my husband (also disabled) and myself. If for some reason I were to have a lapse in my insurance coverage, I could be denied care for some very serious conditions — as could my husband and my son. Currently, between the three of us, we have nearly half of the conditions on this possible list for the bill. My son could lose his doctors. My husband? His medications. Me? Everything, from a medical standpoint.

Just because someone is disabled, it does not mean we are not worthy of proper medical care. We did not wake up one morning and say “Ya know what? Having asthma and bipolar disorder sounds so amazing! I think I’ll try that on for size!” Not only do we already face judgment and criticism from our peers, but now insurance companies are being given the green light to discriminate against us as they please.

I’m Shawna and #IAmAPreExistingCondition

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Thinkstock image by William Potter.

Originally published: May 18, 2017
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