The number of US citizens consistently being reported by media as losing health coverage under the American health care act is incredibly low at 6-15 million. I say low because there are approximately 20 million women in the United States who are currently diagnosed with Endometriosis and under some form of treatment for the disease. This would put the number of Citizens negatively affected by the AHCA at 26-35 million.
Under the AHCA women with endometriosis would be categorized as patients with a pre-existing condition. Under the AHCA, these 20 million women will be required to pay five times more than the market rate for insurance Premiums.
The Republican leadership of our country states this will not be a problem if you’re working since you will clearly have the financial means to make the Penalizing Co-Payments, Deductibles, and Premiums. Seems pretty simple right? While the Republican leadership paints this scenario as ideal, it is not and won’t be reality for Women with Endometriosis.
Through this myopic lens life seems rosy, women with Endometriosis magically have access to healthcare; a treatment plan that consist of more than 30 days worth of Oxy; and can be confident that the insurance plan they buy at penalizing Costs actually insurers their health, which insures their Financial Income, which insures the ability to pay penalizing Costs.
Que Labor. As in Employers. They bring with them the lens of Reality that is every Woman with Endometriosis Lived Experience. With the Promise of ACA/ObamaCare, the Corporate Liability Managers were required to remove medical risk when calculating employee liability, because the ACA/ObamaCare made Employer Health Plans Obsolete and out dated. Unfortunately they still use Medical Risk to rate an employees liability. What does this Lens of Reality mean for a woman diagnosed with endometriosis?
It means pairing all of the existing Legislation and proposed Bills with the AHCA, and fully comprehending the long reaching effects for Women with Endometriosis. This is the reality and this is what the media is not reporting. These are the numbers that are completely ignored in the impact of the Republican American Health Care Act.
• Seeking treatment for Endometriosis during her employment can trigger the risk & liability to be examined. It won’t matter if it’s non invasive simple Birth control pills on a continuous or customized cycle , or hormone therapy at the mid range dosage. Neither invasive treatments impact her ability to do her job and in fact has been known to reduce pain for moderate periods of time, allowing her to build up her Career & Financial Well Being. Even the mildest cases of Endometriosis will be Risk Identified the same as the more aggressive, invasive, debilitating and yes, Costly forms of Endometriosis.
• As an Employee, she will place a bulls eye on her back the moment her Endometriosis reaches the stage where she is forced to make the agonizing choices of excision therapy, or chemotherapy, because her Risk is now an Active Liability to her Employer. She is placed into a Cancer Pool, without proper access to Cancer Treatment. She is placed in a Medical Environment filled with Chemotherapy drugs, and Complex Surgery, but told she is receiving Hormone Therapy. Meanwhile, Insurance Carriers & Employers know full well the drug classifications and medical coding of the most expensive treatments in Health Care. Women are told it is “all in their head” by their Physicians as they set up their $425 billing fee ($300 Lupron + $125 Fee = $425) for a single shot administered in the Medical Office, by a Practicing Nurse not yet licensed.
In a manner of time she will become Unemployable, but not permanently disabled, and her health care access shrinks again due to Financial Ability. This makes any kind of treatment financially unobtainable.
This is the Reality of Endometriosis because there are Physicians practicing in the most esteemed Medical Centers across the Nation who regularly tell patients and students that Endometriosis is a made up disease. The Reality is that our FDA Regulations have allowed Pharmaceutical Companies to encourage Physicians to administer Chemotherapy to Women and tell them not to change their routine and then the deny the very same side effects that are found legitimate in Men.
When the Legislation and Bills are taken as a Whole, and paired with existing Labor Laws, the Americans With Disibilities Act, and the pending AHCA Bill, Women with Endometriosis don’t stand a chance.