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More than 1.4M Arizona women have a pre-existing condition, report finds

(Pixabay photo)

PHOENIX — More than 1.4 million women and girls in Arizona have a pre-existing condition, according to a new report from the National Partnership for Women and Families and the Center for American Progress.

This finding was significant because it outlined the number of women in Arizona who could have their health care jeopardized if the Trump administration successfully repeals or overturns the Affordable Care Act, which prohibits discriminatory insurance practices in pricing and coverage in the individual market.

At issue is Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recent decision that the Justice Department will no longer defend key parts of the Obama-era Affordable Care Act in court.

That includes the law’s unpopular requirement to carry health insurance, but also widely supported provisions that protect people with pre-existing medical conditions and limit what insurers can charge older, sicker customers.

The move could jeopardize legal protections on pre-existing medical conditions for millions of people with employer coverage, particularly workers in small businesses, law and insurance experts argued.

And while some women get health care coverage through an employer or Medicaid and would not face discriminatory practices, “allowing insurers to return to pre-ACA practices could mean millions of women being denied coverage or charged more based on their health status if they ever sought coverage in the individual market,” the report said.

Morgan Tucker with Arizona Health Care Voters told KTAR News 92.3 FM that pre-existing conditions could include anything from dealing with an eating disorder to being diagnosed with lupus to having diabetes.

“If you’ve been alive longer than a day, you’ve probably acquired one of these so-called pre-existing conditions,” Tucker said.

If the Affordable Care Act was overturned, it would lead to a “seriously devastating impact for women in Arizona,” Tucker said.

“That would mean that their coverage would be threatened. It’s pretty serious.”

Tucker said the report aims to make people “hyperaware of what is under threat here.”

The Trump administration is attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act “quickly and quietly, but the reaction if it does get approved would not be quiet,” she argued.

“People might not even be aware this is under threat. They need to pay attention.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Madison Spence and The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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