As several news sources have pointed out, prior to the ACA, insurers could deny coverage to victims of sexual assault.
Prior to the passage of Obamacare, survivors of sexual assault who sought medical attention for injuries sustained during the assault could be denied coverage later on because rape was considered a pre-existing condition. The National Women’s Law Center launched a campaign at the time “Being a Woman is Not a Pre-Existing Condition,” as Gina Scaramella from the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center recalled.
Under the new MacArthur-Meadows Amendment in Trumpcare, states would be allowed to waive the ban on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions. It also allows states to waive preventative health services like vaccinations, mammograms and gynecological screenings. For those who survive a sexual assault, care can often be needed from the physical trauma as well as mental. Survivors can contract sexually transmitted infections and women can be impregnated, despite the claim that women’s bodies can “shut that whole thing down.”
— Sarrah K. Burris in Raw Story
As people learned from late-night TV last week, babies can have “pre-existing” conditions at birth. Prior to the ACA, insurance companies could treat complications during or after delivery as “pre-existing conditions” to deny coverage to mothers as well.
The new MacArthur-Meadows Amendment will allow states to discriminate based on medical history, reportedly without addressing the subsequent high cost of health care for millions of Americans.
In addition to rape, postpartum depression, cesarean sections, and surviving domestic violence are all considered preexisting conditions. Companies can also deny coverage for gynecological services and mammograms.
— Sarah Spellings in New York Magazine
When the ACA was first passed in 2009, Huffington Post reported on this aspect of the health insurance debate multiple times, interviewing survivors of sexual assault who had been denied coverage:
Some women have contacted the Investigative Fund to say they were deemed ineligible for health insurance because they had a pre-existing condition as a result of a rape, such as post traumatic stress disorder or a sexually transmitted disease. Other patients and therapists wrote in with allegations that insurers are routinely denying long-term mental health care to women who have been sexually assaulted. […]
Fallon says she now has trouble getting coverage for gynecological exams. To avoid the hassle of fighting with her insurance company, she goes to Planned Parenthood instead and pays out of pocket.
A New Mexico woman told the Investigative Fund she was denied coverage at several health insurance companies because she had suffered from PTSD after being attacked and raped in 2003. She did not want to disclose her name because she feared that she would lose her group health insurance if she went on the record as a rape victim. “I remember just feeling infuriated,” she said.
— Danielle Ivory in HuffPo
Christina Turner was drugged and raped by two men in 2002. After taking anti-HIV drugs prescribed by her doctor as a preventative measure, Turner was denied health insurance. The HIV drugs, Turner was told, raised too many health questions for her insurer.
— T.J. Ortenzi in HuffPo
This is what Republicans in the house voted for today.