Image depicts woman with sunglasses standing on grass,
smiling. Image text reads: I am a pre-existing condition.
#Iamapreexistingcondition with so many diagnoses, to list them would exceed Twitter’s character limit.

One of the daily medications I take — a necessity for my autonomic system to function (somewhat properly) and which controls my erratic heart— costs over $101,000 a year, a figure my insurance pays begrudgingly.

The immunotherapy for the lupus that plagues nearly every organ in my body can cost $90,000 a round, easily. My insurance company doesn't love that, either, but it's medically necessary.

I didn’t choose the costs of these life-saving medications, but I also didn’t choose to be permanently sick or disabled. I was born this way. And even if I wasn’t, who would choose this life?

As egregious as yesterday was, I do not feel excessively shocked or slighted by the politicians who voted that my life was less than theirs, then celebrated their victory (and, presumably, the fact they are keeping Obamacare for themselves) with bud lights. I’ve been angry and frustrated all along by their behavior, and so this newest attack didn’t surprise me. It exhausted me, but I slept, took a shower, got dressed, and am ready to fight again.

I know healthcare isn’t an exciting issue for many, other than causing irritation over high premiums and deductibles (hey, I’m on your side there! Though that’s another discussion entirely), but I think it will become one as this bill makes its way through the senate and gets picked apart for what it really is.

We know it’s an attack on women with, to name a few of the assaults against us,  heavy periods, rape and pregnancy listed as pre-existing conditions, and no mandate to pay for birth control yet insane increases to the cost of birth.

We know it’s an attack on the LGBTQ community, who will have to somehow struggle even harder to access the same healthcare as non-LGBTQ citizens. 

We know that those receiving special education will suffer, and that their lives after their 21st birthdays are even more bleak and uncertain than ever.

We know because the opportunities to read these stories abound. I invite you to read as many as possible and match the faces to the individuals Paul Ryan and his crew are condemning with their cruelty passed off as legislation. 

We are told it’s a win for taxpayers, which may likely be the reason so many republicans voted in favor of it (I HAVE to tell myself their actions were not out of strict evil, but instead greed and promises to certain constituents and lobbyists), but did you know that the average American does not benefit from these tax cuts? Indeed, the tax cuts are for the wealthy only. 

We will see extreme tax hikes on the state level as our local governments scramble without the federal funding to which they’ve become accustomed. We will still be slammed by costs, if not more so, just in a different way than we were before. Employers could choose to follow suit, amending their insurance policies by refusing to cover pre-existing conditions and adding caps to covearage via a government waiver just as our states do the same. 

We will see private insurance costs rise. We will see less covered by our insurance. The highly discriminatory and illegal yet common phenomena of companies refusing to hire employees with health needs or disabilities due to costs associated with insuring them will become more rampant. 

This bill is, to put it simply, disastrous for all involved. What’s more, it is unsustainable. 

How I wish I was lying, or exaggerating, but there is no hyperbole in my words: people will suffer, and people will die.

As sick and tired as I am, and as unfair as it is, I am going to keep fighting. Who's with me?

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