UNDER TRUMPCARE, RAPE COULD BE CONSIDERED A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION

As the GOP’s American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed the House today, any guarantee of coverage for rape survivors passed away with it.

The addition of the MacArthur-Meadows Amendment to the healthcare bill opens the door for states to abolish Obama-era rules covering preexisting conditions – among them is rape, sexual and domestic abuse.

Considering that one in six American women has experienced an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime, this is no small concern.

In years past, seeking medical treatment in the aftermath of sexual assault could preclude the victim from obtaining future coverage, as was the case for Christina Turner. Following her rape, doctors advised her to take anti-HIV medication in the event that the men who assaulted her were infected with the virus. This post-phylaxis medication, something required only due to her being raped, caused insurance companies to deny her future coverage for at least up to three years.

But the implications reach further – survivors of sexual abuse and assault often need long-term psychological support, as they are at higher risk for mental health issues including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders.

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