Imagine for a moment pulling into your driveway early Friday evening after a long week of work. You park your car and unlock your front door. You begin walking into your house to find it strangely silent. There is no laughter, no movie playing, no friends over, nothing… no noise. You call the name of your daughter multiple times expecting a reply but there is none. In search of your loved one, you rove room to room frantically. Finally, you come to a locked bathroom door and you knock… no answer. You yell… no answer. Finally, you kick your own bathroom door in and find your daughter lying on the floor the same shade of grey as the rug she is lying on. You’ve seen this before and you know it’s an overdose.

Immediately you call 911 and paramedics arrive. They are able to administer narcan and revive your daughter. Your daughter is rushed to the ER because though she’s conscious, she far from well. You’ve tried everything you can think of to help her but now you need to seek more professional help.

Under present ACA law, your state is required to have essential health benefits which include mental health and substance abuse treatment. So, you have options for help. She can stay in state or go out of state, she can also receive treatment for the depression you believe to be the source of the problem and you’re only responsibility is to pay for a deductible and a coinsurance.

Maybe she doesn’t get sober immediately , but she doesn’t give up. Thanks to your insurance, you won’t loose your house in the process and your daughter gets sober. Your daughter goes to college, she moves out gets married and has a family.

Under the proposed AHCA and Graham Cassidy Bill, You may very well not be able to pay your mortgage and save your daughters life at the same time. AHCA seeks to offer states a waiver allowing them to opt out of Essential Health Benefits (including mental health and substance abuse) if they have “affordable and available” options already. Medicaid is an option, but under Graham Cassidy and AHCA Medicaid spending gets significant cuts. Growth for “affordable and available” options are drastically minimized in the immediate future and even more drastically reduced.

Under the new bill 32 million people would be uninsured ( http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/19/news/economy/senate-repeal-bill-cbo/index.html ) as a result of Medicaid cuts. In addition,by 2026 it is estimated that 2/3 of the United states would live in areas where there would be no options for coverage because no insurers would opt to participate in those areas. The only option available for those living in the 2/3 where commercial insurance is available would be government healthcare. With the proposed Medicaid cuts, that insurance now is even less effective than it was before (it wasn’t that great before either). In addition to the already disproportionate issues proposed, premiums (despite insurers no longer covering Essential health benefits) would double by 2026.

The end result of all of this is a bill that leaves too many people uninsured, to many people at great risk and  Jimmy Kimmel stated as quoted by The Washington Post “no family should be denied medical care, emergency or otherwise, because they can’t afford it.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2017/09/20/the-cbo-cant-score-republicans-health-care-plan-in-time-thats-where-jimmy-kimmel-comes-in/?utm_term=.0d0a7601a1fa 

Kyle McHenry

CEO, Co-Founder, Health Insurance Specialist

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