Jemele Hill Blasts AHCA For Treating Sexual Assault As Pre-Existing Condition

The American Health Care Act was all people could talk about before it went to vote Thursday, and that group of people included an ESPN personality.

After the first vote on the bill was tabled because of lack of Republican support, the MacArthur-Meadows Amendment, which allows states to waive the ban on denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, was added to the mix. Pre-existing conditions range anywhere from things like acne and acid reflux to more complicated diagnoses like cancer and HIV/AIDS, but many of the conditions that qualify as pre-existing disproportionately affect women.

And “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill wasn’t about to let that slide without piping up, as she responded to a tweet from the executive director of international development and global health organization RESULTS Canada, Lauren Dobson-Hughes.

Hill also had this to say after a Twitter user pointed out the conditions “are primarily felt by those of us with XX chromosomes.”

Hill has good reason to be troubled, as Americans everywhere are on edge about whether they’ll be covered after Thursday’s vote. And just as cancer patients don’t choose to get cancer, women and others don’t choose to get sexually assaulted.

Christina Turner shared a story with The Huffington Post of what happens in those situations way back in 2009, and if the bill passes, a case like hers could happen again today. Turner was sexually assaulted in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., before the Affordable Care Act was passed, and her doctor recommended she take anti-AIDS medication for a month. But when she lost her insurance just months later and needed a new provider, insurance companies saw the prescription and told her she’d need to prove in three or more years that she didn’t have AIDS in order to be covered. Turner told them what happened and explained that she never tested positive, but she still was left without coverage.

The fact that seeking treatment for sexual assault would be a pre-existing condition obviously affects men, too, and it also would affect any adult who was abused as a child and is dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental illnesses.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images

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