Pre-Existing Condition: Protest & Prayer

Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center invites anyone with a pre-existing condition — or anyone who loves someone with a pre-existing condition — to join us Friday evening at 6 pm to protest the U.S. House of Representatives recent passage of an immoral bill that would deny healthcare to millions of Americans. The bill repeals the Affordable Care Act and rolls back protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which could increase health care costs for an estimated 130 million Americans.

The purpose of the protest is to let Rep. Chuck Fleischmann know how angry we are about his voting to strip us of medical care; and to let Sen. Bob Corker and Sen. Lamar Alexander know we are watching and we are expecting our senators not to make the same immoral decision to deny access to healthcare to millions of people.

Participants are asked to bring a sign that identifies their pre-existing condition. We will also have poster board and markers so you can make a sign at the protest. At 6:15 we will march from the meeting place on the sidewalk in front of the Hamilton County Courthouse, 625 Georgia Ave., to the sidewalk facing the EPB building at Miller Park. This will be an hour before Nightfall starts and should make our protest very visible to many people.

** For those who are not able to make the march, please meet us at the park. One of the Mercy Junction elders will be there to greet those at the park who are waiting for the march to arrive there. **

The march will include the carrying of a stretcher covered in a white sheet, representing the United States health care system. Those participating will carry posters with their pre-existing conditions written on them.

At Miller Park, Pastor Brian Merritt will conduct a service of Healing and Wholeness for the broken United States healthcare system. Brian will also offer prayer, laying on of hands and anointing with oil for individuals’ personal healing and wholeness for anyone who wishes to participate in the service.

We will also have a megaphone and will invite anyone with a pre-existing condition, or anyone who will be harmed by the law, to share their store.

On Thursday, the House passed the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act with a voting margin of 217 “yes” votes to 213 “no” votes.
In its place would be the American Health Care Act. The AHCA stipulates that states can allow insurers to charge people with pre-existing conditions more for health insurance (which is banned under the ACA). However, there is still time to make a difference.

The narrow win in the House means the GOP-drafted AHCA will head for the Senate next, where a win may prove even more difficult. With the assumption that no Senate Democrats will vote for the bill, if even two Republicans vote against, it will be halted — at least temporarily.

With these stakes in mind, it’s important we remain vigilant in calling our representatives and placing pressure on them to defend the health care of the millions who would lose coverage if the AHCA is made into public policy.

What counts as a pre-existing condition? While it depends on the insurer—they have the right to choose what counts as “pre-existing”—these ailments and conditions were universally used to deny people coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on health care research.

Alcohol or drug abuse with recent treatment
Cerebral palsy
Congestive heart failure
Coronary artery/heart disease, bypass surgery
Crohn’s disease
Kidney disease, renal failure
Mental disorders (including Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Schizophrenia)
Multiple sclerosis
Muscular dystrophy
Organ transplant
Parkinson’s disease
Pending surgery or hospitalization
Pneumocystic pneumonia
Pregnancy or expectant parent (includes men)
Sleep apnea

Here are some examples of those other conditions that experts have noted could hike premiums:

Acid Reflux
Celiac Disease
Heart burn
High cholesterol
Kidney Stones
Knee surgery
Lyme Disease
Postpartum depression
Seasonal Affective Disorder
“Sexual deviation or disorder”


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