Health-care Plan Must Offer Security

This piece was first published by the Columbus Dispatch on May 19, 2017 in the Opinion section as a Letter to the Editor.

via Columbus Dispatch

Earlier this month my congressman, Steve Stivers, voted in favor of the American Health Care Act, and I have a question. I, like 30,000 other Americans, including a younger family member, live every day with cystic fibrosis, a genetic disorder.

Our well-being depends on highly specialized and costly care. For context, one specific drug I take costs nearly $30,000 a month. The AHCA drastically weakens protections in the health-care marketplace for folks with pre-existing conditions.

While insurance companies will still be required to provide insurance, they will no longer be required to deliver that insurance at the same price to pre-existing condition enrollees, meaning I, my relative, and many millions of additional Americans living with a pre-existing condition can expect the price of health insurance to increase on the individual marketplace.

I understand that the health-care system in the United States is complex and the debate is nuanced, but should I pay more for health insurance due to a genetic disorder that I randomly inherited? Should the thousands of Stivers’ constituents in the same situation?

Or should we, as a central Ohio community and broader American family, build a health-care system that emphasizes coverage, provides security to those who need it most, and recognizes that access to affordable health insurance is deadly serious for many people — and not a tool for scoring political points.