Much of the criticism levied against the GOP health bill that narrowly passed the House last week is that it will strip away protections for people with pre-existing conditions, putting affordable health insurance out of their reach.
And one of those conditions? Pregnancy, which would be up to 425 percent more expensive under the new plan, according to estimates from liberal think tank the Center for American Progress.
Premiums for women with uncomplicated pregnancies could jump by more than $17,000, CAP estimates.
That’s because under Trumpcare, states would be able to apply for a waiver from the so-called community rating rule—an element of President Obama’s signature health care legislation that required insurers to charge people the same price, regardless of their health status. Under the GOP bill, there would be nothing stopping insurers from charging more if a person has a history of cancer, depression or even a C-section...or if that individual is pregnant.
In media appearances to drum up support for the bill (which faces an uphill battle in the Senate), House Speaker Paul Ryan insisted that people with pre-existing conditions should have “peace of mind” about the new plan, in part because people who have continuous health insurance coverage cannot be charged more. But anyone who has had a lapse in coverage for more than 63 days could be charged higher premiums.
That means, for example, that if a woman who has been without insurance for a few months finds out she’s pregnant and goes shopping for a new plan, she could find herself paying up to 425 percent more than she would have under Obamacare. And again, that’s just for a relatively healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy.
Let’s not forget, too, that it’s already expensive to have a child in the United States. According to a 2013 New York Times analysis, the average price charged for a vaginal delivery is $30,000 and a C-section is $50,000, with commercial insurers paying out roughly $18,000 and $28,000 respectively. Then it just costs an estimated $233,610 to raise them—not including college.