This ACA Repeal Will Be a Death Sentence for So Many of Us

Scottsdale, AZ
United States

I currently have Medicaid thanks to the Medicaid expansion that took place here in Arizona, a direct result of the introduction of the ACA. I'm a graduate student and my program doesn't offer health benefits. Additionally, because of a gap in my resume, it's been next to impossible to find work in my area. I make no money, I'm barely scraping by, living on what little comprises my school loan refund, and I have two major health problems that require daily medication and trips to see my doctors twice a year.

Before Medicaid, I was able to stay on my mother's insurance until I was 26 and I can say without hyperbole that the ACA and the accompanying Medicaid expansion that my state thankfully adopted is the reason I'm still alive right now. I'm not happy about being unemployed, and the whole point of attending graduate school is to rectify that situation. The ability to keep my Medicaid plan until I've graduated is so necessary for me because it means I get to remain as healthy as possible until I graduate, am finally able to get work, and acquire healthcare through an employer.

If the ACA is repealed, this means that Medicaid expansion funding also rolls back heavily. I and many other people in Arizona will likely lose coverage and this scares me because, as previously stated, my ability to take my meds and see my doctors is quite literally a life-or-death situation. I can't pay for meds, blood work, and doctor's visits out of pocket. Furthermore, a repeal of the ACA also means extinguishing the pre-existing condition clause (among other things). Which means even if I could afford to buy private insurance, I would likely never be able to get health insurance because I have pre-existing conditions. And this could affect me in the future, if my employer-based healthcare decides to deny me coverage because of my health conditions (which they would absolutely be able to do).

So, here I sit, trying to get through school, trying to survive, and wondering if I'll even be alive in four years, or even one or two. This ACA repeal will be a death sentence for so many of us, especially given that Republican congresspeople don't even have a replacement option. They've had years to come up with a replacement plan and it hasn't happened. It's heartbreaking and frustrating to think that the people in Congress who are supposed to support their constituents are so willing to let us die. And for what? Some vendetta against the outgoing president? Nobody should have to die because of petty political nonsense. Unfortunately, it seems that at least some of us will ...