An amendment in the GOP health-care-reform bill would allow states to grant insurance companies the ability to deny coverage to patients based on their personal medical histories, including if they suffered from disorders like PTSD after they were sexually assaulted.
Before Obamacare, rape survivors who sought treatment for physical and mental injuries could be denied health care later on, and a House Judiciary Panel survey suggested that the practice was common. Under Obamacare, patients were guaranteed the right to receive coverage at the same rate despite their personal medical histories. The American Health Care Act is intended to change that.
The new MacArthur-Meadows Amendment allows states to apply for a waiver allowing insurance companies to raise premiums based on medical history. That would mean reverting to pre-Obamacare definitions of preexisting conditions, which are any medical condition that a patient has before signing up for insurance. However, all but six states have laws on the books forbidding the practice of discriminating against preexisting conditions related to sexual assault.
In addition to PTSD stemming from sexual assault and domestic violence, other conditions like postpartum depression and having gotten a cesarean section could also be considered preexisting conditions.
The amendment also reads, “Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting health-insurance issuers to discriminate in rates for health insurance coverage by gender.”
Correction: This story originally stated that rape is considered a pre-existing condition in the AHCA. It has been updated to reflect that conditions stemming from sexual assault and domestic violence, such as PTSD and certain STDs, could be considered preexisting conditions, not sexual assault itself.
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