Deep Breath

There’s been a lot of news lately about repealing the Affordable Care Act.  I tend to stay away from politics on this blog; but this directly relates to mine, as well as countless others, treatment for mental illness and so I can’t stay silent.

Without the ACA, insurance companies could deny me coverage for pre-existing conditions (bipolar, depression, substance abuse).  They could alternatively give me a health insurance policy that does not cover mental health related treatments. If this occurred than I would not have the ability to afford my seven daily medications, therapy appointments, psychiatry appointments, and the rare but possible hospitalizations.  I would very likely not survive my illness if that happened. At this time I am lucky to have coverage through my employer; but what if this isn’t always the case?

There are so many people who are less fortunate than I am.  I know and recognize that I have the privilege of employer based coverage and have a two income household.  There are so many people who are able live with a mental illness only because their job is required to offer them an employer sponsored plan. Mental illness can be debilitating and without treatment, unemployment is likely for many people, me included.

It was insurance that allowed me to go to rehab and if the ACA had not been in existence, I know that the insurance company would not have covered that facility, and it likely wouldn’t cover others either because rehab is expensive and they wouldn’t have had to pay for it.

Nobody chooses to have a mental illness, nobody plans to be an addict.  Treatment is expensive and unaffordably so for the vast majority of the country, if not for the protections in the Affordable Care Act.  If Republicans win this new court battle, those protections will disappear. How can people disregard the consequences that this would have on others?  In some versions of my future life, repealing this act could kill me. Any future in which the ACA is repealed, many Americans will needlessly die.

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