Vital health care protections in jeopardy

Posted6/18/2018 1:00 AM

One way or another, the crusaders against the Affordable Care Act are going to make sure that Americans and their family members who have illness or "pre-existing" conditions are going to lose their health care. The ACA provision that protects those who have pre-existing illnesses so they cannot be denied health insurance or be charged much higher premiums is under attack again.

The Justice Department has filed a brief in federal court stating that the provision requiring most Americans to have insurance is unconstitutional and the consumer insurance protections are invalid. So, it is not known at this time what will happen to this vital protection and how the courts will decide.

This is the time to be concerned if you know someone who has asthma, diabetes, cancer, arthritis or if you have another type of illness.

There are those of us who remember what it was like before the protections from pre-existing insurance clauses. Parents of children with chronic illnesses were afraid to change jobs, for fear of losing health insurance. People who had insurance were suddenly told that their claims were not being paid because they had in their health history some past medical finding that disqualified them from their insurance plan. People who had past health histories were denied health insurance.

These problems were a nightmare for many families and individuals, and we may very well return to this backward state of affairs.

Calls to your legislators are extremely important, and I would also say talking with current candidates who are aware and knowledgeable about the health care crisis that will surely follow if these protections in the ACA were terminated is crucial.

Now is the time to talk with the candidates to see where they stand in supporting the protections that would prohibit insurance companies from denying insurance to people with pre-existing conditions. No matter your views on the ACA, and most people agree it could be made better, the protections within the ACA benefits are clear benefits for people with pre-existing conditions.

This has not been a major news item but the consequences of the loss of health care to millions of Americans with chronic illnesses will be significant. Who does not know someone with some medical problem? Indeed this is a problem that will impact all of us.

Sandy Spiegel


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