I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes 16 years ago. Managing this illness requires that I monitor my blood sugar and self-administer insulin injections frequently throughout the day.
Thankfully, my diagnosis occurred while my family was covered by insurance through my father’s workplace. However, coverage before the Affordable Care Act was never guaranteed — any insurance plan could’ve neglected me coverage due to my “pre-existing condition.”
As someone on insulin, this would’ve been a death sentence, especially in more recent years as the cost of insulin has skyrocketed.
The 5th Circuit’s decision to overturn the ACA and the current administration’s attack on it has focused on pre-existing conditions since the beginning overtures. Their failure to follow through on previous promises to protect people has expanded to an attack on the entire Affordable Care Act.
Repealing any part of the ACA would inflict widespread harm on the 20 million Americans who have since succeeded in obtaining health insurance. There are 135 million Americans who benefit from the protections within the pre-existing conditions clause, and even just its repeal would have devastating consequences for Americans.
For diabetics, we would undoubtedly see a rise in insulin rationing, a rise in serious complications and a rise in insulin rationing deaths.
It’s now up to us to advocate for our health care. No matter the outcome, we must hold the Trump administration and our elected officials accountable because millions of people could lose their health care.