"I Was Healthy" On Twitter Tells The Stories Of Americans Who Never Knew How Much They'd Need Health Insurance
One of the GOP's primary arguments for the Graham-Cassidy bill is that people shouldn't have to pay for more coverage than they personally need. However, most Americans know that this isn't how insurance actually works — indeed, it's antithetical to the entire concept of insurance — and many people are letting legislators know that they want a health insurance system that supports all Americans. Thousands shared heartbreaking stories on Twitter about why America should protect health care using the hashtag #IWasHealthy, and they put a very necessary personal perspective on the issue.
Although the GOP's insistence on getting Americans the lowest possible health insurance premiums is theoretically commendable, the reality is more nuanced than that. Insurance only works if the amount that the insurance company collects from its customers is greater than what it has to spend providing health care. Moreover, if sick and elderly people were collectively banned from buying health insurance, for instance, premiums would decrease, because insurance companies wouldn't actually end up paying for very much medical care. But of course, the end result of this would be fewer people having access to health care, not more.
Despite its flaws, the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) built in safeguards to prevent insurers from charging sick people more for insurance, or denying coverage to those with "pre-existing conditions." With the Graham-Cassidy bill poised to come up for a vote before the end of the month, Americans are trying to let Congress know that they don't want to get rid of Obamacare's patient protections.
You Shouldn't Have To Worry About Bills, Too
If insurance companies charged each customer based on their individual health needs, those who ended up requiring expensive health care wouldn't be able to afford their premiums, forcing them to drop out of the market entirely — and, in effect, eliminating the point of insurance to begin with.
This Will Hurt Veterans, Too
President Trump often notes how much he loves America's "wounded warriors," and yet the bill he's poised to sign would do untold damage to U.S. veterans around the country.
Climate Change Has Played A Role, Too
The Centers for Disease Control has warned that climate change will affect the transmission of infectious diseases in unpredictable ways, making it all the more important that as many Americans as possible have affordable, comprehensive health insurance.
If Anyone Should Get It, McCain Should
Sen. John McCain, who's currently undecided on the bill, is battling cancer. Thankfully for him, he's a U.S. Senator, and thus enjoys taxpayer-funded, government-provided health care. He should understand as much as anybody that you're sick, you need the financial freedom to be with your family.
Obamacare's Not Perfect, But It's Better Than No Obamacare
Although it's coming at a semi-desperate moment, this Twitter trend is inspiring. Americans are sharing their stories so that everyone can understand and appreciate the power of collective care, and these Twitter testimonials are proof of the power of looking out for each other.
Seth Millstein contributed to this report.