Republican legislators’ recent attempts at passing healthcare legislation has consistently penalized the poor and the elderly, but their latest incarnation will add a new target to the list: rape victims.
The bill’s MacArthur Meadows Amendment would allow states to permit insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions. Bizarrely, this means that insurance companies would be permitted to apply the term “pre-existing condition” to anyone who has ever received treatment for sexual assault, postpartum depression, or domestic violence.
While it’s important to note that this definition of pre-existing condition existed before Obamacare passed, no language in the MacArthur Meadows Amendment has changed this interpretation.
“Back in 2010, it was legal in several states to deny somebody coverage because they were a domestic abuse survivor. That was considered a pre-existing condition,” said Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper of Physicians for Reproductive Health. She added: “Most of the people who have C-sections identify as women, so that’s a shorthand for a gender discriminatory policy.”
Christina Turner, 45, was a victim of this policy before Obamacare’s passage. According to the Huffington Post, Turner’s potential insurance provider turned her away for taking anti-AIDS medication after being drugged and sexually assaulted.
“I’m going to be penalized my whole life because of this,” she said at the time.
Under Trumpcare, those who had previously been treated for sexual assault would also be unable to obtain coverage for preventative coverage like mammograms and gynecological exams, a matter which at least one Republican senator seemed to find funny last month, quipping “I wouldn’t want to lose my mammograms.” (After intense media pressure, he later apologized.)
The new bill also continues previous iterations’ legacy of targeting Planned Parenthood and restricting access to contraceptive care, a policy which the Congressional Budget office estimates will ultimately cost the country approximately $21 billion worth of Medicaid to cover the spike in new births for Medicaid patients.
Nathan Wellman is a Los Angeles-based journalist, author, and playwright. His less-political Youtube channel can be found here. Follow him on Twitter: @LightningWOW