The future of Obamacare has been in limbo for the better part of seven years now. Ever since its partisan-line passage in 2010, Republicans have vowed to repeal President Obama's signature legislation. In fact, Republicans have voted to repeal or change Obamacare no less than 54 times to date. Those efforts had little hope of success while Obama held a presidential veto. But with President Trump now in the Oval Office, congressional Republicans are confident that their move to repeal Obamacare, beginning with a House vote on Thursday, will ultimately be enacted. In stringent opposition this legislative change, however, are the thousands of Twitter users who have employed the hashtag #ObamacareHelpedMe to show the benefits of the ACA. UPDATE: The AHCA has officially passed the House with a majority of votes, 217 to 213.
According to analyses from both the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and a new Harvard study based on "RomneyCare" in Massachusetts, Republicans' repeal and replace plan could have catastrophic consequences. Their findings predicts millions will lose their insurance, and the new market will be far less solvent. Increases in price will cause lower-income buyers to drop out of the market, which drives up emergency room visits — and those are both costly and less effective than preventative health care. Additionally, those who most need health care — the elderly and sick — will be a disproportionately large portion of buyers. Cue financial breakdown.
Twitter is having none of that. Here are just a sampling of what users had to say about how Obamacare helped them:
Cardiologist For Son With Heart Defect
#ObamacareHelpedMe afford Cardiologist visits for my son, born with a Congenital Heart Defect. AHCA may ensure he DOESN'T get coverage.— Laura Miers (@LauraMiers) May 4, 2017
After Jimmy Kimmel's emotional story about his own infant son's need for heart surgery, the television host implored people to think about what those without health insurance would do in his shoes. Here's another example of how Obamacare helped a family get vital help for their son.
Prior to Obamacare, most people who had insurance received it through their employer. This woman had her brain surgery covered by Obamacare, even after losing corporate insurance.
Thriving With A Hereditary Disease
Hereditary Angioedema is a hereditary condition, aka pre-existing condition. Obamacare made it illegal to bar people from buying insurers for that reason. And that made a world of difference for this woman.
Prenatal and maternity coverage.
Republicans have said some outrageous things about health care, but some of the most absurd and offensive surround how they shouldn't have to pay for women's problems — problems like pregnancy, and I'm not joking here. Obamacare mandated maternity care. Ask any mom how much that means, if you're unsure.
C-Sections Are Not A Pre-Existing Condition
Cut my payments in half. Was finally able to afford a child. Now C-section will be pre-existing condition... #ObamacareHelpedMe— Kimber Kim Kudzo (@KimberKlumberK) May 4, 2017
Under the Republican's replacement plan, a C-section will be considered a pre-existing condition, and one insurers could turn away customers over. That's a sad and marked change from Obamacare.
Mental Health Coverage Saves Lives
The stigma surrounding mental illness is finally receding, at least a little bit, and many who needed mental health care were finally able to afford it with Obamacare. The Republican plan cuts Medicaid so drastically that countless people who need mental health care will be left without any options. "Many will instead end up homeless, in jail or dead," Linda Rosenberg, CEO of the National Council for Behavioral Health, told USA Today.
Life-Saving Surgery Made Affordable
Surgery is prohibitively expensive for millions of Americans. But with Obamacare, many who couldn't afford it before were able to at last receive the procedures they needed.
Insurance For Cancer Survivors
#ObamacareHelpedMe because as a cancer survivor I was uninsurable— Alex 🏳️🌈 (@Sanvers_TV) May 4, 2017
Cancer survivors need health care, too. That shouldn't have to be stated, but take it as a sign of the moment we're in that it feels necessary to point that out.
Avoiding Bankruptcy From Health Care Costs
#ObamacareHelpedMe When my teen was diagnosed with lymphoma we didn't have to worry about exceeding benefit cap, going bankrupt.— Jennifer Neary (@pcjennie11) May 4, 2017
Americans have access to some of the best treatments in the world for debilitating diseases and conditions, including cancer. But that care comes at a steep cost. Obamacare helped ease that burden.
A Way Out Of Abusive Situations
#ObamacareHelpedMe to leave a verbally abusive employer & launch my own consulting firm w/ affordable health insurance for a pre-x condition— American Girl (@TheAmerican22) May 4, 2017
Health insurance is a huge employer benefit, and prior to Obamacare, many felt trapped in jobs because there weren't good options elsewhere.
Peace Of Mind For Parents And Survivors
#ObamacareHelpedMe My disabled son(seizure disorder) & I(breast cancer) have preexisting conditions.The ACA gave us peace of mind & security— Peggy Glynn (@pglynn61) May 4, 2017
Children need health insurance, their parents need health insurance, and pre-existing conditions don't change that. Obamacare recognized that.
Recovering From Injury
At the age of 24, when I fell at work and my employer fired me, #obamacarehelpedme pay for two back surgeries and regain the use of my leg— Sarah J. Clemens (@Sarah_J_Clemens) May 4, 2017
Regaining the use of a leg is a pretty huge deal.
Repeat: C-Sections Should Not Preclude Women From Being Insured
Pre-Obamacare ACA, I was denied coverage by several insurers for 5 yrs for the pre-existing condition of having had a c-section. #VoteNo— Gayla Schaefer, MPA (@DharmaMum) May 4, 2017
What more is there to say?
Giving Dignity To Cancer Survivors
After recovering from a massive health crisis like cancer, no one should have to spend the rest of their life worrying about basic health coverage.
The truth about the health insurance market prior to Obamacare is that it punished potential buyers for all manner of "pre-existing conditions." As evidenced above, many of those encompass conditions that people are born with, or they "acquire" in the process of giving birth (like a C-section). Other categories include horrific illnesses like cancer.
It's almost impossible to imagine a world in which mothers who needed a C-section see themselves forever consigned to higher premiums, to say nothing of cancer survivors unable to get basic health insurance.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi dubbed the Republican bill a "moral monstrosity," one she predicts will lead to devastating losses for the party at the ballot box. It's hard to argue with that assessment.