You’re Going to Miss Obamacare

Up to One in Three of You Would Lose Your Insurance Without the ACA
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Photo by Graur Codrin

Depending on where you live, up to one in three of you could find yourselves without insurance if Republicans are able to follow through on their threat to repeal Obamacare.

Here’s the problem. Without the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Obamacare’s official name, we would go back to allowing insurance companies to refuse to cover you if you ever had certain health problems. And it’s not just cancer or heart disease that falls into the “declinable pre-existing conditions” category. Do you, or does a loved one, have:

  • Arthritis or other inflammatory joint diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Obesity (defined as a body mass index of 30 or higher, such as 5’9″ person who weighs at least 203 pounds)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Pending surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Sleep anea
  • Stroke

A recent Kaiser Family Foundation study found that about 27 percent of Americans under the age of 65 would lose their health insurance if Obamacare was repealed and they had to buy insurance on the private market. That is, if they were not covered through work or some other means.

Most of us have already forgotten the bad old days when insurance companies could take away our coverage when we most needed it

But figures vary from state to state. If you live in Colorado or Minnesota, 22 percent, or more than one in five, of you would be turned away from health insurance. If you live in West Virginia, 36 percent, or more than one in three, of you would find yourselves trying to cover healthcare costs out of your own pocket or by turning to family members, or welfare, religious, or social service agencies.

In California, the figure is 24 percent, or 5.8 million people; in New York, it’s 25 percent or 3 million people; and in Florida, it’s 26 percent, or 3.1 million folks still in their working age years.

These figures are based on people’s health history. But there are other criteria insurance companies can go back to using to deny coverage. Do you take any of these drugs?

  • Metforin HCL
  • Cyclosporine/Sandimmune
  • Zidovudine/Retrovir
  • Nolvadex/Tamoxifen
  • Aricept/Donepezil
  • Coumadin/Warfarin
  • Haldol/Haldoperidol
  • Clomid
  • Lithium

Maybe the insurance industry doesn’t like your job or hobbies. Do you work in any of these fields or pursue any of these activities?

  • Active military
  • Firefighting/EMT
  • Aviation
  • Law enforcement
  • Logging
  • Mining
  • Meat packing
  • Offshore drilling and oil exploration
  • Professional athletics
  • Scuba diving
  • Taxi driving

Most of us have already forgotten the bad old days when insurance companies could take away our coverage on what felt like a whim, and almost invariably, when we most needed it. If Republicans succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act without replacing it with basically an exact clone (presumably under a patriotic name), we will likely be forced to remember.

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