March 24, 2024

Your Children's Future Health Care

Imagine that you're in your seventh or eighth month of pregnancy and you go into labor. It's frightening, because you know this is too soon.

You rush to the hospital. Fortunately, you don't live in a neglected rural area where there are no hospitals and you're lucky enough to get there on a day when they aren't overcrowded, at a time when the nurses aren't in the middle of a shift change, on a day that's not a holiday. You get seen right away by the best obstetrical team in the region. Your baby is born very prematurely, weighing less than two pounds. She's alive!

Your tiny child is given the best available treatment, and spends many weeks in the NICU. There are several close calls, but the great doctors and nurses are heroic, and your baby survives, despite being very weak and sick. Finally, she's strong enough to come home. You have a long list of special instructions for her care and feeding. Fortunately, there are no major emergencies. The hospital expenses were huge, but you were fortunate to have a good health plan that covered almost everything.

As time goes by, your daughter still has some health issues, but she keeps getting stronger, and by the time she is ten years old, you would never guess she was a preemie. One day when she's 15, she falls off her bike and breaks her leg. This is a fairly normal problem, so you are shocked when your health plan refuses to pay for her treatment, because she had reached her "lifetime limit" by age seven, It's not easy, but you manage to pay the bill.

You start looking around for a new health care plan, but you find out that your daughter can't get coverage because she has "pre-existing conditions."

"Wait a minute," you say, "I thought pre-existing conditions don't matter because of the Affordable Care Act."

The insurance agent replies, "Don't you remember? The ACA was repealed by the Republican majority in Congress back in 2025, after the Supreme Court overruled the election and installed trump as President. We can now exclude anyone who's ever been sick. In fact, we are about to declare that being female is a pre-existing condition. Your daughter will never have health care coverage. Even if she lives to be 75 - the new retirement age - she won't be eligible for Medicare, since it was privatized and operates under our rules. Sorry." He's not sorry.


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