The AHCA Threatens People with Type 1 Diabetes

An insurance advocate who has a son with Type 1 diabetes argues that it would rob families of economic stability.



Opinion

Whether you have a child with Type 1 diabetes or you have it yourself, you quickly realize that this is a very expensive condition. If you are fortunate enough to have good health insurance, the costs may be doable; if your insurance is minimal or you don’t have any health insurance, then your costs can be catastrophically high.

In my opinion, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is one of the greatest things to have happened for those with chronic medical conditions. It guarantees that, regardless of your health history, you can get insurance coverage. The ACA also provides freedom to those with medical conditions to know that they are not tied to an employer who offers health insurance.

Read more: The AHCA – What Happens Now?

The ACA especially provides peace of mind to me as a parent of a child with Type 1 diabetes. I know that as long as I have coverage, my out-of-pocket costs will hopefully be reasonable and my son will have access to the necessary medical care and medical supplies. Setting aside the sometimes high cost of premiums, at least the insurance is there. This is a small quantum of solace for me in the challenging times after his Type 1 diagnosis.

And now that peace of mind is under threat of being taken away. The House of Representatives has passed an incredibly dangerous bill called the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would lead to the loss of insurance coverage for 23 million Americans within a decade. It would also once again open up the possibility that insurance companies could deny coverage to those with preexisting conditions such as Type 1 diabetes.

The ACA is not perfect, but when something is broken, the logical step is to try to fix it rather than to just throw it away. We should look at how we can improve the ACA in ways that will continue Medicaid expansion, lower premiums, and improve services. This is all really possible, and I’ve outlined how in a document I’ve dubbed “A Health Insurance Roadmap.” The Roadmap provides clear fixes to the ACA that will decrease costs by moving to a legitimate pricing model for health care services and supplies; this plan could cut total annual spending on health care by 33 percent.

Read more: What the MacArthur Amendment Means for People with Type 1 Diabetes

We need to make our voices heard in the U.S. Senate and urge them to do the right thing. I have started a petition for “A Practical and Fair Health Insurance Solution” based on “A Health Insurance Roadmap”. We can all make a difference and I hope you’ll join us.

This article has been edited for clarity.

This is an opinion piece. If you would like to offer your own opinion for or against efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, email our editor at cidlebrook@selfrx.com.

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Tony Steuer is an award-winning author who has written several books on life insurance and is a regular commentator on insurance issues. He is the founder of the nsurance Literacy Institute, and a past member of the California Department of Insurance Curriculum Board and the National Financial Educator’s Council (NFEC) Curriculum Advisory Board. He is the father of a child with Type 1 diabetes and lives in Alameda, California.