Today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to deny healthcare to millions of survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) — which would repeal the Affordable Care Act or “Obamacare” — would remove the federal ban that prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage or charging higher premiums to people who have pre-existing conditions. Sexual assault and intimate partner violence would be considered pre-existing conditions under the AHCA.
Allowing insurers to deny coverage to survivors is effectively a “rape premium.” To pass a health care law that enables insurance companies to charge higher premiums — or deny coverage altogether — punishes survivors of sexual violence who were targeted through no fault of their own. The cost of sexual assault can already be in the six figures for each survivor. Now, survivors who need mental or physical health care, or treatment for trauma-related disabilities, will incur even more of a financial burden.
End Rape on Campus will continue to advocate for survivors of sexual violence, even if their representatives will not. To all the survivors of sexual violence who are worried about their healthcare coverage, we see you, we stand with you, and we will always be here to advocate for you.
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