Patients with pre-existing conditions concerned over future coverage under AHCA


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Patients are concerned their healthcare costs could skyrocket if the American Health Care Act becomes law.

Mekea Radicchi was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease 11 years ago.

“I rely on my medicine,” she said. “If I’m out in public, and I don’t have it, I start to panic. I need my medicine.”

She said her medicine is very expensive even with insurance.

“Just one visit this year I got a $1,200 bill,” she said.

Currently, Mekea is on her husband, Brian’s, insurance plan. But if he changes jobs or the plan changed, she may be unable to afford her medicine under the American Health Care Act.

“She wouldn’t be able to move,” Brian said. “She would just lay there, and we’d have to bring food to her and she wouldn’t be able to walk. She’d suffer for the next five, 10, 20, 30 years.”

Mekea is not alone. Those with pre-existing conditions, including Parkinson’s and cancer, would fall into this category.

Insurers would not be able to deny coverage outright, but they could charge significantly higher rates for it.

“It means that people will die; people will die,” Lynne Jackson said.

Jackson is a breast cancer survivor. She knows first hand how expensive the cost of treatment can be.

“Why should some Americans be able to get cancer treatments and others not,” she said. “I don’t understand it.”

Even now, she still sees a doctor four times a year.

“It’s not fair because I didn’t ask to get cancer,” she said. “I thought I was perfectly healthy.”

Now, both Jackson and Mekea said they want answers.

“How can they do that to people?” Mekea asked. “How can they take away their care? I mean, people are going to suffer.”

AHCA passed the U.S. House of Representatives. It now heads to the U.S. Senate.

If it passes in the senate, Pres. Donald Trump is expected to sign it into law.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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