Rep. Brian Mast was a name I’d honestly never heard before the floor debate in the House prior to the passing of the American Health Care Act. That’s not a slight, just being from Washington state, a representative from Florida is literally the farthest thing from me.
In reality, we have some fairly unique things in common, not the least of which is our belief that Obamacare is a failed system that must be addressed sooner rather than later, and Democrats (and some Republicans) are intentionally misleading people over the issue of pre-existing conditions.
Like Brian Mast, I also have the pre-existing condition of being a multiple-amputee. Mast lost both his legs and a finger as a soldier in Afghanistan the day before I lost my right leg, left arm, and ultimately my remaining big toe in a car wreck in September 2010. I, like Brian Mast, know about pre-existing conditions all too well.
During the floor debate, we heard a lot of Democratic members stand up and speak about their pre-existing conditions and how they wouldn’t be able to get insurance under the AHCA (untrue for the vast majority of Americans).
And then Rep. Mast stood up to call out the Democrats who were deliberately misleading Americans with their comments about pre-existing conditions.
— Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) May 4, 2017
“I, too, am a person with pre-existing conditions, and I believe it is not just something I should do it’s a responsibility for me to be the staunchest advocate for people out there that have pre-existing conditions,” he said.
I agree. While I’m not the “ardent supporter” of the AHCA Rep. Mast is, as someone with a pre-existing condition I feel it is my responsibility to raise the issue of pre-existing conditions in a factual and rational light. Not as a bogeyman and scare tactic on their fellow Americans.
Mast was spot on in his comments when asking those with and without pre-existing conditions, how do they expect to have coverage if insurer after insurer is pulling out of the individual health care market in state after state. “If there is no entity out there to provide insurance, how is it that pre-existing conditions could possibly be covered?” Mast asked.
As I wrote yesterday, those with pre-existing conditions who could not find affordable coverage pre-Obamacare peaked at 114,959 in 2013.
The Affordable Care Act is collapsing around us. To do nothing is foolhardy. While the AHCA was nothing I wanted as a conservative, Democrats placing their hands over their ears and eyes and contending the AHCA is worse than the absolute and proven failure that is Obamacare, is willfully disingenuous and misleading.
Rep. Mast called the Democrats out on that as well.
“Who is it that’s going out there and saying that pre-existing conditions won’t be covered,” he asked. “It is the exact same group of people that went out there and lied to the face of every single American that if you like their plan they can keep their plan. If they like their doctor they can keep their doctor. That the average American family was going to save $2,500 or more on health insurance. That was a bold-faced lie.”
In other words, considering the source on coverage of pre-existing conditions is a must. As someone with pre-existing conditions, the changes the AHCA makes to the Affordable Care Act do not concern me at all. What should concern everyone is the continuing flight of insurers from the individual market under the Affordable Care Act. It’s unsustainable and those with pre-existing conditions will have less coverage, like everyone else, with the status quo than under any new plan the GOP comes up with.