Repeal of Affordable Care Act would be a tragic mistake

An open letter to those fighting to repeal the Affordable Care Act,

Did you know many of the people who are pleading with legislators to save the ACA/Obamacare are actually pleading for their lives? Though the act is not perfect, it has saved many people’s lives due to its override of the pre-existing conditions clause and lack of yearly or lifetime caps on treatment. Before the act was passed insurers could deny any citizen with a pre-existing condition (ranging anywhere from high blood pressure to rare genetic diseases) health coverage and life saving treatment based upon the fact they had said condition. For those who required expensive treatments (like chemotherapy and radiation) before the act was passed, they only had limited coverage per year and lifetime amounts due to caps, or an allotted amount of money per case from insurance companies.

The ACA overrides the blatant ableism of the pre-existing conditions clause and allows citizens to stay on their guardian’s insurance until the age of 26, no longer making healthcare a privilege for the healthy and able-bodied, but also giving coverage to those who need it most.

The lack of caps assure that all people are guaranteed treatment regardless of pre-existing or economic circumstance. This is especially pertinent considering that the cost of branded on patent prescription drugs has increased by at least 14.77 percent in the last year. Specialty drugs that are used to treat rare or complex conditions, which already carry tremendous price tags, saw an increase of at least 9.21 percent according to the health care evaluation company Truveris.

As a new era of governmental administration begins and this new administration begins to evaluate the ACA, the citizens of America with pre-existing conditions, chronic illness and disability ask that legislators and those fighting for repeal keep these aspects of the act that do work. Even if the Affordable Care Act itself is dismantled, please keep these two things in their essence. An amendment or abridgment of the Americans with Disabilities Act that would protect these communities, and it would also give them the first and foremost of the unalienable rights mentioned in the Declaration of Independence: life.

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