If It Weren't for the ACA, I'd Likely Be Blind

San Jose, CA
United States

Here's why this matters to me personally: I was born with congenital cataracts, which I had removed, along with the lenses on my eyes, as an infant. That surgery caused me to develop glaucoma, which if left untreated can cause blindness.

A few years back, I needed a small tube inserted in my left eye to control my increasingly out-of-control eye pressure. Without it, the pressure would damage my optic nerve irreparably and I would lose my sight. That procedure cost $20,000. Private insurers did not want to cover my preexisting condition, and as a newly minted public interest attorney I didn't have an extra $20,000.

But thanks to the Affordable Care Act and the newly set up exchange for preexisting conditions insurance plan in my state, I was able to get the procedure at an affordable rate as well as all the necessary follow-up care and medicine I needed.

If it weren't for the ACA I would likely be blind now. If I need a similar surgery in the future, I want to know that I'll be able to access it, whether or not I'm insured by my employer at that time. There are millions of other Americans whose health, well-being, and actual lives depend on the ACA. Repealing the ACA with no reasonable substitute yet in place would be breathtakingly irresponsible, and cruel.