When I was fifteen I was diagnosed with epilepsy. At the time I was moving from upstate New York to Pennsylvania and was starting high school. For much of my high school career I tried to hide the fact I had epilepsy, but somehow people in my school found out. From then on I was looked at differently, strobe lights were shoved in my face, people asked me to have a seizure in front of them (like I could control it), and teachers assumed I was stupid, all while I tried to navigate adolescents and a new environment.

My parents tried their best to help me but I hid the taunting from them; from the ages of fifteen to around eighteen I attempted to hide away from the world the best I could.

Having a complicated relationship with my brain and being taunted destroyed my self-confidence in ways that took me years to put back together.

I’m now twenty-four and sometimes the ghost of what I use to hear slip into my mind and I still get defensive if anyone tells me how I should handle my epilepsy, but I’m more comfortable with myself than I was back then. It wasn’t only getting older that helped me feel okay about myself, it was also the Affordable Healthcare Act or Obamacare as it’s more widely known. Knowing insurance couldn’t turn me away just because I had a preexisting condition gave me hope. But when I hear republicans speak out against the AHA they make me feel like I'm being punished for some condition I didn't ask for.


What exactly is Trumpcare? The public doesn’t seem to know and the people who do know don’t want to vote for it. I decided it was important to understand what Trumpcare really is, so I decided to start doing research; the first place I started was Trumpcare.com. Both trump’s tax plan and first write up for his health care proposal were extremely short but Trumpcare.com is the exact opposite.

The website is jammed packed with links and long articles. When I started clicking through the links and reading different parts of the website I noticed one thing, that Trumpcare.com doesn’t know what it wants to say. The choice of language is strange in some spots, in other important parts it’s very vague, and most notably its very combative.

It seems like Trump wants to fight everyone including republicans. He has a link entitled “Trumpcare vs. Republicans” but oddly enough there is no link for “Trumpcare vs. Democrats”. The strangest thing might actually be with the website’s language, with phrases like “We are not entirely sure why this is beneficial to either insurance carriers or consumers” and “You will simply not have insurance.” No consumer should feel confident in whatever Trumpcare is offering.

But what I was most interested in, was what does Trumpcare do for people with preexisting conditions. Trump has stated multiple times that people with preexisting conditions will be covered under his plan, but if you look at what republicans are proposing, people with preexisting conditions are put into high-risk pools that still don’t guarantee they can afford coverage.

Also states can opt out of covering people with preexisting conditions if they want to.

In interviews, Trump doesn’t seem to understand what’s in the bill or that it directly contradicts what he is saying. The farther I dug into Trumpcare.com to see what he himself had planned for preexisting conditions the more terrified I became. Simply put, he has nothing for people with preexisting conditions, he has a page and link dedicated to the subject but under that page he says “it is not entirely clear how his proposed healthcare reform would address the issue of preexisting conditions.” Statements like that and along with many other shows me that Trump doesn’t care about people like me. In his plan we’re seen as a problem.

How to fix what we have

Obamacare has helped many Americans a great deal, but it’s not a perfect system and there are ways to fix it. If Trump were smart or cared he would try to work towards a single payer system, it’s a system a majority of Americans want and a system that has proven to be cost effective. Other countries that have single payer use it as a bargaining chip to keep their healthcare prices down. Even if he wanted single payer, republicans wouldn’t go for it and he doesn’t have the votes. Republicans are stuck on the idea that they must repel and replace Obamacare with a free market system, even though there’s no way to prove the market would be able to regulate itself or actually drive down prices.

However, there are still realistic options that if we put politics aside could really work.

The best way to fix the healthcare mess maybe the public option. During the campaign both Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders put forward a form of public options. It wouldn’t be universal healthcare but it would create a better government run healthcare option that would lower the price of healthcare across the country. There are other parts of the plan like lowering the age of Medicare down and expanding Medicaid that could also bring prices down. There are other ways to fix Obamacare but they wouldn’t fix the American healthcare system in the long term.

Having a public option may be the sustainable system we need in America.

Under this plan republicans could still have somewhat of a free market but democrats could also have a cheap government option that a lot of people would buy into. The way to fix American healthcare isn’t to give less healthcare to people with preexisting conditions, it’s to create a system that gives us all a chance to live.