Healthcare is not a luxury, it’s a right

Deep_Fried_Feminism

By: Megan Graves, Columnist 

“There she goes, there she goes again,” I sing to my dreams of having affordable, extensive, accessible healthcare. They begin to flutter out the window, once again left shattered by Republicans in the House of Representatives, who I then got to watch smugly celebrate their “sweeping” 217 to 213 win. Meanwhile, Donald Trump reminded us that, “hey, I’m president!” as if anyone could forget, even for just one night of decent sleep.

There’s just something a little odd to me about people who claim to be “pro-life” increasing the risk of unintended pregnancy;  increasing the cost of pregnancy and childbirth dramatically, making it harder to have a healthy pregnancy; and forcing people to die slowly while they try to save up the money to afford the care they need. 

I’m not making that up. Those are all things that will happen if this bill passes in the Senate. Two of the most concerning aspects of the American Health Care Act (creative) are that one, Medicaid will be rolled back, leaving a lot of people without insurance, and two, insurances will have the power (by state) to choose whether or not they’ll accept people with pre-existing conditions.

Where this gets really interesting (terrifying) is that the term “pre-existing condition” can mean a lot of different things. Some obvious examples are things like heart disease, lung disease, cancer, etc. Things that a rational person would think, hm, maybe people with those conditions should have MORE access to healthcare.

Some not so obvious examples are mental illnesses, (including, but not limited to, side effects of sexual and/or domestic violence, like PTSD) and, get this, pregnancy.

You know what isn’t a considered a preexisting condition, though? Erectile Dysfunction. Just thought I’d throw that out there.

Under the ACA, preexisting conditions were protected so that insurance companies could not charge more from, or turn away people who had them. The AHCA, however, lessens those protections. While this bill would be bad for everyone who isn’t raking in millions of dollars a year, as Cecile Richards, the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, puts it, “The AHCA [is] the worst bill for women and women’s health in a generation.”

The bill would block those using Medicaid from utilizing Planned Parenthood as a resource, leaving millions with nowhere to turn for sexual education, family planning, or maternity care. Not to mention the other resources offered by Planned Parenthood such as STI and cancer screenings.

It isn’t an exaggeration to say that passing a bill like this would be an act of violence. Millions of people will literally die from diseases and conditions (like pregnancy and childbirth, apparently) if it is made so they cannot afford the care they need. You shouldn’t have to be filthy rich to have access to doctors and medications, and being filthy rich should not rid you of empathy.

To those 217 people that voted in favor of this bill, you are not pro-life. If anything, you are anti-life and sure as hell anti-women.

I mean, heck, I can’t even say you’re just pro-birth anymore because now you’re attempting to take that option away from millions of Americans by making it entirely unaffordable.

Healthcare is a basic human need. It is a right. To treat it as a luxury like your high-end sports cars and your designer suits is disgraceful. No human being has more of a right to a healthy life than any other, especially not based on their finances. The fact that you are able to play with life like this just to prove your stubborn point really shows your privilege.

The bill will now be placed in the hands of the Senate, where they will decide to alter it, pass it, or stop it.

This is the time to call your senators and tell them how you feel about the AHCA. To quote Richards again, “We need everyone who cares about the future of our country to keep calling until we defeat this bill.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a fully charged phone and a small to moderate amount of free time. Ring, ring, y’all.

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