I know that I just posted something on me freaking out two days ago, and I know that most of you are probably sick of hearing me rail on as infrequently as I do anyways, but we need to talk about this.
The AHCA does nothing to prevent insurance companies from refusing to insure people with pre-existing conditions. What counts as a pre-existing condition? Here’s an abbreviated list:
- Alcohol or drug abuse with recent treatment
- Cerebral palsy
- Congestive heart failure
- Coronary artery/heart disease, bypass surgery
- Crohn’s disease
- Kidney disease, renal failure
- Mental disorders (including Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Organ transplant
- Parkinson’s disease
- Pending surgery or hospitalization
- Pneumocystic pneumonia
- Pregnancy or expectant parent (includes men)
- Rape survival
- Sleep apnea
So. Basically. This healthcare bill kicks the most vulnerable people out of the healthcare system. I’m not exaggerating when I say that people will die because of this bill. If it gets through the Senate, anyone who has suffered any of the conditions above (and I don’t know anyone who hasn’t suffered from acne) can get kicked off their insurance plan.
That includes my depressed ass. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t fucking terrified.
So what do we do? First, and most obviously, call your senators. Do your absolute best to make sure that this doesn’t pass the Senate. And then, when you’re done with that, check to see if your representative voted for the AHCA. If they did, call them. Write them. Show up to town hall meetings and scream at them. Tweet at them. Do everything you can to shame them as publicly and constantly as possible. Every politician needs to know that voting for the literal deaths of their constituents is political suicide. Since, clearly, they don’t care about the actual lives of the people they represent, maybe they’ll care enough about their careers to try and put a stop to this. And for now, that would be enough.
In the meantime, support freelancers. Support disabled people. Support trans people and other queer people and people with mental illnesses and physical illnesses in any and every way you can. This bill was designed to be a tax cut for the rich at the cost of the lives of working people. So do what you can to save as many lives as you can.
And if you are one of the millions of people who will be negatively affected by this, I’m sorry. I’m scared, too. And I know how much this fucking sucks. But we need to keep going. We need to push forward. We need to do our best to keep fighting. This won’t be easy. It’ll be long and painful and terrifying. But we can’t stop fighting.
So take some time to mourn. Take some time to be shocked. Take some time to scream and cry and rant and rave and throw shit and worry about what’s going to happen, if you need to. And then sit down, pick up the phone, and call. And whatever you do, remember, just keep writing.
Alindra is an author, dance teacher, and choreographer. If you want to keep up with whatever the hell it is she calls her life, follow her on social media (Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, etc) @alindrawrites or support her Patreon at patreon.com/alindrawrites