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Trumpcare leads people to tweet their preexisting conditions

Commentary: At hashtag #IAmAPreexistingCondition, many post their emotional stories after the House of Representatives passes Trumpcare.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


A contrast in fortunes.

screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

There were scenes of triumphant celebration, after the House of Representatives endured white-knuckle moments before passing the Obamacare replacement, often referred to as Trumpcare.

There were scenes of teeth-gnashing and reality-checking on Twitter, as the hashtag #IAmAPreexisting Condition housed stories of people who fight against diseases and fear their health care will now be prohibitively expensive or even completely taken away.

As the hashtag trended, it was hard not to wonder about the gall of a House that wanted to take Obamacare away from others while apparently keeping it for itself and its staff members. It was also hard not to be moved by the simple stories people told of their suffering.

"Breast Cancer and Epilepsy #IAmAPreexistingCondition," tweeted Kathryn Dyer.

"I have Lupus, AS, & a heart condition," offered Whit Furler.

"My son Born w/RARE disease 212 surgeries 842 days hosp. 5.5 years on dialysis FINALLY has new kidney!" tweeted NaturesEncore.

"I'm a disabled veteran that suffers from PTSD #IAmAPreexistingCondition along with thousands of other veterans who suffer," said Red T Raccoon.

Some compared the US to other, more enlightened countries that believe all their citizens deserved the change of health.

Some, though, spelled out the potential consequences for them personally. "This pic is from surgery #12. l'll be having surgery #14 in two weeks. I have NF2. I will die w/out coverage," tweeted LG.

Of course, there's no way of knowing if all the stories tweeted are true.

Still, having been brought up in Europe, where the notion of universal health care represents both nationhood and decency -- however well or badly universal health care is executed in some European countries -- it's strange to watch some of the undignified crowing among lawmakers that was apparent today.

Indeed, President Donald Trump on Thursday told Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull: "You have better health care than we do." Australia has universal health care.

Still, the bill isn't yet law. The Senate represents the next step. I wonder how many of its members pay attention to Twitter hashtags.