Talk of repealing the Affordable Care Act immediately puts a pit in my stomach, bringing to the surface countless fears for those I love most in this world: 16 high school-age students with profound disabilities in my school’s Autism-IV program.
I have worked with this program as a student teacher assistant at Sanderson High School for four years; I have too clear of a picture of what a world without the ACA would look like for them. The ACA created a world in which autism was no longer a pre-existing condition for which people could be denied coverage. It allowed for early screening, leading to earlier diagnoses and more effective interventions. It eliminated lifetime caps, meaning that regardless of how expensive a child’s condition may be, they could not be denied care. Expensive but effective therapies, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, currently covered by insurance may no longer be covered.
In a world already hostile to those with disabilities, the increased suffering that would fall on the disability community is painful to consider. Congress should vote against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.