Debate Continues Over Replacement For Affordable Care Act

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Potential changes to the Affordable Care Act have many concerned that those with preexisting health conditions could be left on the outside looking in.

Those with preexisting medical conditions – such as cancer, asthma, or depression – could be forced to pay more.

For some, it could mean life or death.

From late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.

“If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make.”

To right here in Baltimore.

“Premiums would be unaffordable and care would be unaffordable,” said Baltimore resident Barbara Gruber.

The debate over health care continues.

“This bill would be just as strong as on preexisting illnesses as Obamacare,” said Michigan Congressman Fred Upton.

A dispute that’s jolted back into the spotlight after Jimmy Kimmel described the moment he found out his newborn son had a heart defect, followed by some strong words for Congress.

“No parent should ever have to decide if they can afford to save their child’s life,” Kimmel said. “It just shouldn’t happen.”

Currently, with the Affordable Care Act, states cannot deny coverage to those based on preexisting medical conditions or charge them more than others.

An amendment crafted by a New Jersey congressman would do just the opposite.

“It will break you, the expenses will break you,” said Gruber.

59-year-old Barbara Gruber battles asthma and coronary artery disease.

“[Reporter: If Congress goes through with these changes, what would it do to your quality of life?] “I would not be able to afford health insurance. I would not be able to afford medical care,” Gruber said.

It’s a decision families could be forced to make nationwide.

“You choose between, are you going to take care of your child, or pay rent? And families lose,” she said.

That really can be life or death.

“I don’t think it’s the kind of country I want to be from, that’s going to say my income determines whether I or my child gets to live because of any preexisting condition,” Gruber said.

Republican leaders are still counting their votes, urging members to support the latest version.

There had been talk about bringing the bill to the floor for President Donald Trump’s 100th day in office, but GOP leaders delayed the vote.

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