The US House of Representatives voted by a narrow margin on Thursday (May 4) in favor of an updated version of the American Health Care Act, the GOP’s long-promised replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), commonly known as Obamacare.
As news of the vote broke, people took to Twitter to share personal stories of how the bill, should it also pass in the Senate, could affect their lives. Specifically, many shared fears of a rollback of protections for people with pre-existing conditions, one of Obamacare’s most popular features.
Before the ACA was implemented, Americans with pre-existing conditions were routinely denied coverage by insurers or faced higher premiums. Health issues included in this category can range from cancer and asthma to even heavy periods.
On Tuesday, late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel used his primetime spot to speak personally on this subject, a video that later went viral.
“If you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition,” he said. “If your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition.”
The nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, which focuses on US health care, compiled this list of health issues that could count as a “declinable condition” on the state level:
Both House speaker Paul Ryan and president Donald Trump have said the new bill will preserve protections for pre-existing conditions, though critics say loopholes on the state-level could make premiums difficult to afford for people who insurers determine are high risk.