This is one of those moments that make me want to face-palm, or scream as loud as I can in hopes that someone, someone with the ability to actually listen and then act, will hear me.
And then I thank god that I live in Canada. This country may not be perfect — it absolutely has its own set of problems — but at least I don’t have to be scared of going to the doctor.
Thursday, the Republicans passed a health care bill to replace Obamacare. The bill passed by a slight margin, 217-213. This is being hailed as a big success for the Trump government, who was unable to pass the first version of the health care bill. But while the government may be laughing and smiling at their success, a lot of people in the United States are going to get screwed, particularly women.
The full version of the American Health Care Act hasn’t been made public yet, and has not been analyzed by the Congressional Budget Office, so there is no way to know what economic impact
There was also an amendment made by Republican Tom MacArthur of New Jersey that would allow states to opt out of “essential health benefits” in order to opt their own.
Here are some of the items that are considered “pre-existing” conditions and therefore not coverable under the new health care plan: c-sections, sexual assault, mental illness, domestic violence, depression, acne, asthma, irregular menstruation, pregnancy, diabetes, sex reassignment, cancer, and other debilitating diseases.
So, if you are a woman, suffer from any sort of mental illness, or have been diagnosed with a serious disease — the Trump government just said you didn’t matter. They also just said the state could decide that whatever coverage the bill did have, may not actually be what you will be given (for better or for worse).
As a side note, congress and their families are exempt from many of the effects of the bill; although they claim there will be a revision made to correct that and make further changes.
Of course, as very few members of congress are female, this makes perfect sense.
As I don’t know the exact wording of the bill, I can’t say much else about it. But I can say this: I find the inclusion of pregnancy and mental illness as pre-existing conditions ridiculous, and can’t believe that something like menstrual cycles made it into the list. Honestly, it feels like spite — spite for the protests and women’s marches that have plagued the White House during President Donald Trump’s first 100 days.
The bill will now go to the Senate for revision. Who knows how much this bill will change (or if it even will), but for the sake of American women, I hope it does. While Ontario includes abortion pills and free birth control for women under the age of 25, it looks like the United States is going the opposite route.
And it makes me feel ashamed to be part of the same continent.
What do you think of the new health care bill? Let us know in the comments below!