There's a lot to be upset about with the new American Health Care Act (AHCA) getting through the House, but if you want to get to the heart of the matter, look no further than this one tweet. This statement about sexual assault in Trump's America cuts straight through everything else to really nail why this bill is so upsetting to so many people.
"A sexual assault offender can become President," one Amy Esposito wrote on Twitter, "but a sexual assault victim cannot get healthcare."
It goes back to the drama of the campaign, when more and more women were accusing Donald Trump of sexual harassment, and a tape came out of Trump bragging about sexual assault. Trump has repeatedly denied all allegations of sexual harassment, and he apologized for his statements in the lewd tape. Although all of it did in some ways send sexual assault to the forefront of the political discussion, it didn't end well for the survivors of sexual assault who then had to watch an alleged offender win an election.
The results of the election were clear — a significant portion of the country was willing to ignore the pleas of dozens of women accusing Trump of harassment in order to vote for the man who had allegedly harassed them. To victims of sexual misconduct across the country, it felt like a slap in the face — and now it's gotten even worse.
Now, Trump is in the White House, repealing Obamacare is a top priority, and the new Republican health care plan doesn't exactly handle pre-existing conditions the same way that Obamacare does. For one thing, the cost of insurance could go up significantly for people with pre-existing conditions. For another, victims of sexual assault could be classified as having a pre-existing condition, which could then price them out of insurance coverage. A slap in the face? I think we're going to need a much stronger phrase.
The statement in the tweet, of course, is a bit blunt, it doesn't acknowledge Trump's denials, and it's a description of a law that doesn't yet exist. The AHCA still hasn't passed through the Senate yet, and it seems unlikely to make it in its current state — partly because of the uproar over its treatment of people with pre-existing conditions. But if congressional Republicans and Trump get their way, then insurance companies will be allowed to price people out of coverage, and those people could include survivors of sexual assault. Less than half of American voters might have been willing to elect a man accused of sexual harassment, but should the bill pass, we can all hope they won't re-elect the people who pushed it through.