If the American Health Care Act (AHCA) becomes law, it's likely that millions of Americans will lose their health insurance and could potentially die. After all, contrary to what some GOP lawmakers may believe, people do die because they don't have access to health care. That's not a supposition, it's a fact: A study published by the American Journal of Public Health in 2009 found that about 45,000 people die every year from lack of health insurance.
And because the bill that was passed on Thursday by the U.S. House of Representatives wasn't scored by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, we don't fully know the impact this legislation could have. But a previous score, which belonged to the original itineration of the bill, found that about 24 millions of Americans would lose their health care over the next decade if the AHCA replaces the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare.
So, what can you do if you feel that you might die if the AHCA becomes law? Other than fighting so the bill doesn't get passed in the Senate, you could arrange for your ashes to be sent to a Republican congressperson in the occasion that you pass away. Truly.
The website Mail Me to the GOP, created by Zoey Jordan Salsbury, promises to get your paperwork ready so your ashes can be sent to one of the members of Congress who voted to repeal and replace Obamacare.
"Millions of Americans rely on protections and coverage from the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The Republicans' new bill will gut these protections and many will die," the website description reads. "They deserve to know it. Fill out our form and we’ll help you get papers in order to send your ashes to a GOP member of Congress if you pass."
The form is available on the front page of the website, alongside links to contact your senators and donate to the Democratic candidates who will run against GOP representatives currently in swing districts.
One of the most controversial aspects of the AHCA is that it would eliminate the pre-existing conditions requirement. Under Obamacare, insurers are required to charge the same price for everyone, without taking into account their medical history. But, under the GOP health care bill, insurance companies could charge higher premiums for people in certain states that have one of the conditions on a long list that includes things like cancer, diabetes, pregnancy, obesity, and heart disease.
"I have a rare form of leukemia, no cure or remission. I can stay alive for a long time if I take daily oral chemo," one testimony reads. "But without insurance I can’t afford my meds and I will die without my medications."
The bill is now in the Senate, where it's expected to be heavily modified by GOP senators, and it's unclear whether some aspects of the AHCA will remain. However, just the idea that the new legislation could lead to the deaths of thousands of people is terrifying. What happened to the Christian principle of taking care of the poor, the old, and the sick?
We reached out to Zoey Jordan Salsbury for comment and we'll update this story if we hear back.