Constituents leave Johnson Hall basketball arena after a town hall meeting at the Cedar Rapids Kirkwood campus on Wednesday, May 10. Blum fielded questions from constituents and crowd members. Earlier in the week Blum walked out of ABC affiliate KCRG-TV's interview prior to a town hall, sparking national headlines. (The Daily Iowan/Ben Smith)

Coltrain: Here are the real issues with TrumpCare

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By Travis Coltrain

travis-coltrain@uiowa.edu

Recently, the American Health Care Act, the new GOP replacement bill for the Affordable Care Act, was narrowly approved by the House of Representatives. Following this, many critics of the Trump administration took to the Internet to showcase their anger at this horrid excuse of a health-care bill.

While I’m not a Trump supporter, I do find it unfair that his administration’s actions get major backlash, no matter what it is. His administration has fallen victim to propaganda and false news that critics have created about him and his actions.

One of the viral claims about TrumpCare was that it made being a rape survivor a pre-existing condition or that it forced sexual-assault victims to list their attack as a pre-existing condition.

It was unavoidable on social media, with thousands reposting and retweeting this idea that TrumpCare listed rape as a pre-existing condition.

Ultraviolet, a women’s advocate group, posted a tweet saying, “Look at the smirks on their faces as they celebrate taking health care away from millions and declaring war on women. #AHCA These men just: Made being a rape survivor a pre-existing condition; Took away maternity care and infant care; Defunded Planned Parenthood.”

This is probably because before ObamaCare, some insurance companies considered medical treatment related to domestic violence and rape a pre-existing condition. While 45 states have banned this practice, it still is an idea that is scary and unfair to abuse survivors.

Under ObamaCare, no one can be denied health insurance based on pre-existing conditions. However, TrumpCare doesn’t have the same protections and weakens them for those with pre-existing conditions.

Under the current version of TrumpCare, states would be allowed to get a waiver from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to allow insurance companies to set premiums based on a person’s medical background.

Because of this, many are worried that if TrumpCare becomes law, survivors could face higher insurance bills.

However, this is not the same as making “a rape survivor a pre-existing condition.” While TrumpCare has a lot of work to do on its treatment of pre-existing conditions, people must realize it’s impossible in most states to have heightened insurance rates because of rape or domestic abuse.

The NAIC Network Adequacy Model Act, established in 2015, included a resolution passed by the the National Association of Insurance Commissioners that prohibits “unfair discrimination by health carriers and insurance professionals on the basis of abuse status.”

This isn’t a law like ObamaCare, but it serves as guidance for states when they make insurance-related laws. Not all states, however, have adopted the policy. This is where insurance companies could raise rates because of one being a rape or domestic-abuse survivor.

However, it is not TrumpCare itself that is doing that. While there are many issues with the pre-existing conditions in the bill, it doesn’t excuse the fact that many created fake information about the bill in order to advocate for its dismissal.

Overall, the real issue people should have with TrumpCare is that it doesn’t have the same regulations on pre-existing conditions as ObamaCare did. Taking that into consideration, one should advocate for the revision of the bill and its protection for those with actual pre-existing conditions on it. This is not to say that sexual assault or abuse is not a serious issue and that it should not in any way raise costs of one’s health insurance, just that it does not fall under the category of pre-existing condition.

In the end, people should always do their own research and not believe every headline they see, especially if it isn’t from a credible news source.

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