Will Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage Vanish?

By Tim Gilmer: For More Info, Go Here…

Amid all the media attention given to the controversy surrounding the Mueller Report, a critical piece of disability news was nearly crowded out: A March 25 Department of Justice letter sent to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit confirmed the DOJ’s support of striking down the entirety of the Affordable Care Act. The letter stated bluntly: “The Department of Justice has determined that the district court’s judgment should be affirmed.”

The letter followed previous statements by President Trump that the ACA’s guaranteed coverage of pre-existing conditions was “safe” and “in no danger.” But if the ruling is eventually upheld by a majority-conservative Supreme Court that now includes two Trump appointees, guaranteed affordable coverage of pre-existing conditions would vanish.

Where would that leave those of us whose chronic disabilities demand continuous, consistent and timely health care coverage?

The National Council on Independent Living issued a fact sheet in January 2017 listing the harmful effects that repealing the Act would likely cause for those who have pre-existing conditions. Here is a general summary of the potential harmful effects as published in the NCIL’s Advocacy Monitor:

• People with disabilities may lose coverage due to pre-existing conditions.

• People with disabilities may lose coverage due to plans being unaffordable.

• People with disabilities may lose their ability to live in their homes and communities.

• People with disabilities may lose Medicaid coverage.

• Unemployment of people with disabilities may increase.

What few people are talking about, however, is the worst possible scenario: People with severe disabilities whose lives often depend on certain medications or treatments that must be administered regularly, often daily, could die.

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