The disastrous implications of the GOP health care bill are becoming ever more apparent, especially for those who get their insurance from large national corporations. Under the bill, even if Pennsylvania does not opt-out of the federal essential benefits regulation, large multi-state employers could choose to deny Pennsylvanians coverage for pre-existing medical conditions or particular conditions, such as pregnancy. Or they could impose annual or lifetime limits on coverage.
Over 62% of Pennsylvanians have employer-based coverage, one of the highest rates in the country. Millions of Pennsylvanians get their insurance from large, multi-state corporations that also operate in states that are likely to opt-out of the federal essential benefit rule.
So all of these scenarios could happen:
- Someone from Pittsburgh who works for Wal-Mart gets pregnant and discovers that pregnancy is not covered by Wal-Mart’s health insurance. When she leaves, she is responsible for the entire bill. A pregnancy with no complications averages $30,000 — a C-section increases that cost to $50,000.
- Someone from Oil City who works for Target gets cancer, needs multiple operations and chemotherapy and uses up his annual cap on health care in four months, leaving him without any means to pay for post-operative therapy.
- Someone from Chester who works for Wells Fargo develops multiple sclerosis and uses up her lifetime health benefits in two years. From there, she’s responsible for all health care costs.
- Someone from Camp Hill who works for NTB seeks treatment for depression, but is denied coverage because it was a pre-existing condition.
The Republican attack on the ACA and Medicaid is not just directed at low-income people. It is directed at all of us.