The powerful #IamaPreexistingCondition hashtag fighting Trump’s healthcare reforms

Posted by
Jasmine Andersson
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It still feels like we’re living in an alternate reality when we have to report on the devastating impact the Trump administration is having on women’s rights.

From the scores of sexual assault allegations against him, to his treatment of his wife, Melania, through to his first executive order being one that prohibits funding for foreign aid units offering women the right to have an abortion, it’s difficult to stomach that the White House is being run by an outright misogynist.

And now, in his latest depressing measure, Trump and his cohorts are set to limit the rights and freedoms of women in the US once more – by reducing their access to affordable healthcare through a proposed amendment to the American Health Care Act.

However, women across the country have taken to Twitter to make their voices heard, under the hashtag #IamaPreexistingCondition.

The hashtag refers to the fact that if the bill becomes legal, people with “pre-existing conditions” could be denied health insurance, or be charged at a significant premium.

Although some of the affected pre-existing conditions are applicable to men, several conditions specific to or heavily affecting women are being targeted by what is effectively a repeal of Obama's Affordable Care Act.

These “conditions” include victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, rape, postnatal depression and those needing a caesarean.

The Centre for American Progress estimates that pregnancy premiums alone would increase by $17,320 (£13,860).

The hashtag was introduced by Huffington Post’s women’s channel in order to show the scores of people who would experience detrimental suffering under the Republican administration’s plans.

“Scroll thru #IAmAPreexistingCondition posts and try not to boil with anger at those who would deny health coverage to these beautiful folks,” said user @LisaBloom.

“#IAmAPreExistingCondition because of my sexual assault, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and womanhood,” added @fabzdiaz.

“My uterus alone makes me (& so many others) a preexisting condition. Looking forward to midterm elections a BUNCH,” contributed @L_A_Knudson.

The revised bill also plans to make devastating cuts to Planned Parenthood, which has been targeted for providing affordable abortion services to women, despite the fact  the clinic provides a variety of sexual health services, which are available to men as well as women.

“Nothing in this Act shall be construed as permitting health insurance issuers to discriminate in rates for health insurance coverage by gender,” the amendment reads.

The proposed law is highly likely to be approved by the House on Thursday.

In spite of the devastation, one thing remains proudly clear – the women of America aren’t going to accept the bill without a fight.

“Millions have marched in the streets, called their representatives, and protested at town halls to protect women’s access to healthcare,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue.

“Our 1.2 million member-activists will keep rising up in protest and demanding their leaders expand women’s freedom and equality.”

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Images: Features