Your Health Care Stories

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order to make it easier for Americans to purchase bare-bones health insurance plans that could circumvent ACA requirements. Those requirements include the mandate all health plans cover 10 essential health benefits: including maternity and newborn care, prescription drugs, and mental health and addiction treatment.

The action could be open to legal challenges. But this is the most recent step of many taken by President Trump to roll back the ACA since taking office in January: He halved the open enrollment period, greatly reduced the ACA outreach budget, and did not commit to making billions of dollars of payments to insurers, guaranteed under the ACA.

Where will these changes leave the millions of Americans who are in need of health care access? We want to hear from you. Has the ACA allowed you or your family to access health insurance? What is at stake for you if the Trump administration's exective order successfully stands? Tell us your story and we may feature it on the Sojourners site.

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Your Stories

I Have Cerebral Palsy. The ACA Is Vital to Those With Physical Disabilities and Chronic Illness.

AnonymousHouston US

I have health insurance through my job now, but if the ACA is repealed and we lose the individual mandate, I will be priced out of coverage, and denied the opportunity to purchase an individual plan because Cerebral Palsy, along with many other disabilities and chronic illnesses, is still considered a pre-existing condition. I know the ACA is not doing all it was intended, or envisioned, to accomplish. But, it remains vital to disabled and chronically ill people, and for that reason, I am grateful for it, and for everyone who defends it.

I Want To Be a Part of a Movement That Brings Change

Jonathan WallaceLafayette CO US

Christians Consensually Uphold Constructs of a God That Can’t Transcend Republican Politics

Ryan GearhartPetoskey MI US

Right now as the new health bill is being constructed, I see that my pre-existing conditions are all over that bill and it makes me and my immediate family afraid and anxious. I have had diabetes since age 9, kidney disease since age 14, I received a kidney transplant when I was 18, and from then till now at the age of 37, I have dealt with countless hospital visits, medical complications and several near-death experiences.

I Could Die Before My Child Is an Adult

Jacqueline Johnson US

At the age of 23 I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Follicular Lymphoma, and incurable blood cancer. I have been in remission for 9 years now. I was told I would probably get 8 years in remission. Although I do not have cancer right now, my blood work has come back abnormal for the first time in 9 years. I'm not sure if this is considered a pre-existing condition but the thought of possibly not being able to get treatment if I need it terrifies me. Not only for me but for my 7 year old son.

 

Without the Subsidy I Receive Through the ACA, I Can’t Afford My Insulin

AnonymousHerndon VA US

I'm 37, and have had type 1 diabetes for 26 years. I require daily insulin to survive. 

Without insurance, insulin costs $1,000 per month (which, as I'm underemployed at the moment, I don't have); without insulin, I'll die. Without the subsidy I receive through the ACA, I can't afford insurance.

I realize that the ACA is imperfect, but let's fix it instead of gutting it.

Real People Have Real Problems. We Aren‘t Just Numbers

Lou Hall, Sr.Warrensburg NY US

I was able to eat a hot dog tonight, and while that alone might not otherwise be newsworthy, it was important to me, as I’ve been on a feeding tube since last October. In June of last year I was diagnosed with stage 4 ethmoid sinus cancer, which had spread to three lymph nodes in my head and neck. In the beginning I was scheduled for craniofacial surgery, to be followed by 37 radiation treatments and three super doses of cisplatin chemo. After one last CT scan a few days before the surgery, they found a fourth location in the back of my head that was so close to my throat, they decided the risk wasn’t worth the possible irrevocable harm that might occur, so it was decided that radiation and chemo alone would be the new game plan. Unfortunately this included having to have all my teeth removed before treatments began. I wasn’t happy about that, but I wanted to live too, so I had them taken out, and I haven’t been able to eat much in the traditional way since. So the hotdog tonight was a big deal.

This Is a Moral Crisis

KellyPittsburgh PA US

At 40, breast cancer. At 45, leukemia (from the chemo for breast cancer). My mother and I have a genetic predisposition for certain cancers, and she has had ovarian cancer. 

If it weren't for affordable insurance, and the "pre-existing condition" clause of ACA that insures we are covered, we would probably both be dead. 

I'm now 53, and don't want my 19-year-old to be tested for BRCA because I fear that having such a label may keep her from affordable health insurance if the proposed Senate plan is passed. If it does pass, I am afraid that many people will be forced to make some very tough decisions, and many will simply not be able to afford the care that they need. This is a moral crisis, when our leaders care nothing for the "least of these" and instead boost the advantages of the "already advantaged."

Our Country Is Great Enough to Be Humane to Its People

Cynthia BarskiPowell WY US

I am in my early 60s, so not old enough quite yet for Medicare. I worry about what coverage will be available when I do qualify and what our insurance will cover until then. I have a few autoimmune disorders and am not in very good health. I plan to work one more year before I retire. When I do I pray that I can afford to get the rotator cuff surgery that I have put off the last few years. My shoulder is in constant pain and now I also need my 3rd back surgery. We have good insurance now but the price is getting high since my husband retired a few years ago. Because of all my medical conditions I need several prescription medications. Between the meds and weekly physical therapy I keep going. My conditions also require frequent doctor visits to specialists and lab work on a regular basis.

1 Percent Get Tax Breaks. We Get To Plan How We’re Going to Survive

Marcia NelsonEpping NH US

For 25 years, we had great insurance through my husband's employer. In 2015 we heard devastating news the mill was moving out of state. We weren't too scared; we planned on finding work. He had good references and experience. Then October 14, 2016, he had a massive heart attack, collapsed, and was rushed to the hospital. Our insurance was still good, thank goodness. But while recuperating he recieved the letter. The mill closed; our insurance gone 

My Husband Is Not Going to Survive

Denise CopelandStanton MI US

I am a wife & 20-year caregiver to my quadriplegic husband. He has been under Michigan No Fault & the Catastrophic Fund. 

However the Republicans want to change this law, which we have been fighting. Therefore they have been changing the benefits with case law, leaving us with less & less to manage our life. Further, their argument states that my husband can pick up this list benefits with Michigan Medicaid! Need I say anything more? My husband is not going to survive. His life is in jeopardy!

Educate, Advocate, Don’t Stop Until All Have Access to Affordable Care

Mary MI US

Never sick a day in my life — until I lost vision in one eye and a few months later was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I have never smoked, am not overweight and no "risk factors" for either condition except age — I was 61. This experience showed me that no matter how healthy our lifestyle, we can need access to good health care at any time. I am healthy today but now have a pre-existing condition, which under Trumpcare, may price me out of access to affordable insurance as I would be in a high-risk pool. Educate, advocate and don't stop until all have access to affordable care!

How Is This Pro-life?

Suzanne WRaleigh NC US

I am 56 years old and a two time survivor of breast cancer. I was 42 the first time and 53 the second. I am the mother of four and grandmother of four. I am two years out from my last and still in treatment. Fortunately I was covered by employee based health insurance both times. The obvious benefit was that my treatment was covered, but also both cancers were caught early through diagnostic screening, which was also covered. Annual screening saved my life twice and saved treatment cost as the cancer wasn't as advanced. If due to either my age or preexisting condition, I'm declined, out priced, or capped out, I have no future. How is this pro-life?

Breast Cancer Will Strike 1 in 8 Women in Their Lifetime

Allison PrendergastNew Orleans LA US

On 12/26/14, I was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer. 

The tumor was tiny & caught early. In 2015, lumpectomy, chemo & radiation totaled $398,000. A single chemo cost $63,000. I was fortunate to have employer insurance through my husband and have ACA in place, so I was protected against annual caps and lifetime limits. 

It’s Our Duty to Take Care of the Vulnerable in Our Society

LisaBen Hur VA US

I work as a mental health skills building counselor. I have insurance through my employer. It's decent insurance and affordable. I'm fairly healthy even though I'm a little on the chunky side. I'm worried that the AHCA will affect my insurance. I have a preexisting condition that other insurance would not cover, if this bill is passed I wonder if I'll still be covered. 

Under AHCA, the Only Way My Husband Would Stay Insured Is If We Divorced

Anonymousflorence SC US

My husband and I are both disabled. I am legally blind, and he has several medical conditions that have required five major surgeries over the past ten years. We are both currently on Medicaid, but I expect to lose it next year as my (very) small business continues to grow. When Trump was first elected, I had planned on closing my business next year and getting a "normal" job with health insurance benefits to keep him insured. But if the AHCA in its current form becomes law that may not even be an option. Barring a miracle, if this law passes, the only way I know to guarantee my husband stays adequately insured, short of my death, is to get a divorce. (So much for Republicans being pro heterosexual marriage.)

I Have Lost My Peace of Mind

Sara McuenSan Jose CA US

I have insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. I have a rare disease that will require expensive medication and regular blood tests and doctors visits for the rest of my life. The repeal of the Affordable Care Act leaves me terrified about the future. I am in school studying Public Health and want to help my community. I have lost my peace of mind and am worried about how I will be impacted along with the millions of others who have benefited from the ACA.

Shame on the Government

Judith Lakeport CA US

The insurance companies are the ones that destroyed this act by pulling out of rural communities and limiting insurer choices.

The System Helped Me When I Suddenly Lost Everything

Natalie HartGrand Rapids MI US

If the current administration’s changes to the health care law go through, I don’t know that someone in my situation would get help.

The ACA Has Saved Our Family in Substantial Ways

Michael McHargWilson NC US

I'm a third-generation ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and own two small businesses that promote and support other local businesses in eastern N.C.

My family and I have never been part of a group insurance pool, but have always had to purchase individual insurance at retail pricing. My family of 5 lived without health insurance for almost a decade, as it was too expensive to sustain our household. It was a difficult decision each month, deciding how to pay out-of-pocket for our medical needs, and choosing to forego routine healthcare because of the expense. The ACA has saved our family in substantial ways. We are now able to seek routine and preventative healthcare, and support our family.

Before the ACA our choices were extremely limited and unhealthy. The ACA has allowed us to affordably receive care. WE DO NOT SUPPORT THE REPEAL OR REPLACEMENT OF THE ACA.

This Is Not a Matter of Politics, It's a Matter of My Life and My Daughter's Life

Lauren NelsonWheaton IL US

A few years ago, after a decade of struggle, I finally had the words to describe why I so often felt like a spectator in my tumultuous life: rapid cycling bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and symptoms of PTSD. Though the road to a workable solution was bumpy (to say the least), my healthcare team and I finally found the right combination of medication and therapy. As a single mom, that combination is crucial not only to me, but my young daughter.

This solution, however, is only possible because of the ACA. Without insurance, just one of my three daily medications costs $950 a month. With the ACA, it costs $60 a month. Huge difference, right?

Even with the ACA, my insurance as a single mother is three times the rate of my also single sister. The key difference is my diagnoses. Without the ACA, I might have lost my insurance by now and had a difficult time finding new coverage.

Much has been said about the fact that the recent replacement proposal from the GOP will preserve the current requirement that insurance companies not deny people coverage for preexisting conditions. They point to subsidized "high risk" pools in the bill that are supposed to help people who cost insurance companies more. I have no idea if that will include someone like me, but even if I'm allowed in those pools, it won't matter.

Why? Because the proposed subsidization is so low it won't make enough of a difference.

Under the proposed replacement, even in one of those pools, I'm likely to pay more than $700 a month for insurance. Remember: ONE of my medications is $950 a month without insurance. I can't afford that. But if my insurance, which is sure to be skimpy because I'm "high risk," is $700 a month, between that and my prescriptions and my therapy I'll be back at that unaffordable $950 a month healthcare bill.

Untreated mental illness too often becomes a terminal illness. This is not a matter of politics. This is a matter of my life, and my daughter's life.

If the ACA Is Repealed, My Parents Will Run Out of Savings

Anonymous US

During the recession my dad worked at a photo development lab, but people were no longer printing physical photos so he got laid off and decided to retire early. Seeing that my dad, sister, and I have genetic condition called Marfan Syndrome that affects eyes and the heart, we have more than our share of medical bills, so we were lucky when we found out we were eligible for our state's healthcare program. 

Their are a few different ways Marfans affects the eyes: my dad has glaucoma, I wear glasses because I'm nearsighted, and my sister had lazy eye surgery when she was little. If you have Marfans, your aorta (main part of the heart) is weaker than it should be. If your blood pressure is too high, this can cause a dissection (rip or tear). To prevent this my dad, sister, and I have to take blood pressure medicine. My sister and I also have our yearly echo cardiogram to check on how much dilation is happening. 

Those Who Claim to Belong to Jesus Act the Least Like HIm

Heather BrownSummerdale AL US

I have not had health insurance in 12 years. It’s been a rough 12 years. My husband was declared disabled in 2004, and I lost my coverage as did he. At the time it was more important my husband had coverage than myself. He is diabetic with sugar running 1000 mg/dl(normal range is 80-120 mg/dl) at the time of his diagnosis. He has diabetic neuropathy, high blood pressure, thyroid issues, he’s had laser surgery on his eyes for diabetic retinopathy and is currently in end stage 3 kidney disease. This doesn’t include all the wound care I do at home as he can’t feel when he injures himself and most times he has no idea it’s not “feeling” right. Within two years he was collecting Social Security and qualified for Medicare, which he has to pay around $300 a month to have. Our three children were able to use Medicaid. Fast forward a few years and our oldest child aged out of Medicaid, but I thought ACA would be the hope we needed. 

Instead, we have been told we qualify for no subsidies and the rates we are quoted are well out of affordable range for my family. We make $1,500 a month roughly; some months it’s more if my self-published novels sell well on Amazon. But $500 a month premium for my daughter and I is just not feasible. It’s frustrating not to qualify. Of course, I do not pay the tax penalty either because shocker ... I don’t make enough money. 

Getting Insurance Became and All-Consuming Battle

Anonymous NC US

I have multiple pre existing conditions - urological issues, PTSD, Asperger's, anxiety. Insurance and making sure I have insurance has pretty much dominated my life. I lived in the same city from childhood into my 30s. I was on the same HMO from a young adult to an adult. I had been on my mother's insurance but I switched my father's because the HMO had a higher cut-off age for dependent children. 

I got a job, lost my insurance, had COBRA, timed out of COBRA (I was working temporary jobs) and for a few days thought I'd lose insurance but the HMO had a "non group" plan for individuals. Eventually the price went so high I left a job I liked (where I was a contract temp) for another one where I had benefits. 

I wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's or PTSD until the past few years. I've been diagnosed with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and have struggled with therapy that didn't work. For the most part, I would work because I needed to and neglect my mental health because there was no time or space to deal with it. I'd go to work, I'd go home and recover from being at work and usually have anxiety attacks, and then rinse and repeat. I had no idea how people went and did things after work. 

I Wish I Had Choices

Anonymous NY US

I recently retired and lost my employer subsidized health insurance. I am 62 years old and in excellent health. I looked at plans from the ACA and purchased a bronze plan. The cost is $360 per month with a $5K deductible. I get NO subsidy to help pay for this. If I go to the hospital, I will quickly need $5K to cover my deductible before my insurance will start to pay. If I choose not to buy this insurance, my penalty would be about the same cost as the insurance. So, for $4,320 a year, I do get one wellness visit, a flu shot and a mammogram (I have had 4 so far, every other year and no cancer, so I won't get more breast radiation even if it is free). I guess I can rest assured though, IF I somehow have a need, AFTER I pay the HUGE deductible, I may actually benefit from this costly policy. I don't know the answer that will make everyone happy, I just wish I had a choice to NOT buy insurance and NOT pay a penalty.

How Do You Explain to Your Congressman That It's Their Job to Care About Other People?

Liz Brooklyn NY US

I am surely not alone in being insured by the ACA while in remission from cancer. If the ACA goes away and my cancer resurges, without a replacement that also requires acceptance of preexisting conditions, what am I supposed to do?

And how do you explain to congressmen that yes, actually, it is their job to care about other people if that's not something they already know?

Don't Put Millions of Americans at Risk Because You Don't Like Who Started ACA

Cathy Coon Bitikofer US

The ACA has helped me manage chronic depression and fight diabetes. 

When I paid for a premium on my husband's work policy six years ago, I was paying $500 a month while continuing to need co-pays for doctors' visits and other services. On our family's income, which falls under $35K, and no option for insurance with my work, we finally decided to drop health insurance for me. I could not afford the doctor's office visits, and the medication I had to take for my depression was so expensive, I was ordering it from Canada and paying out of pocket. I only went to the doctor to renew my medication and avoided getting additional tests. 

Anyone Who Argues for Life Has to Recognize the ACA Protects Children Inside the Womb and Out

LiaBloomington IN US

I work for a federal children's program, and we just scrape by on me and my husband's wages with full-time jobs. We have three children, though for half the pregnancy we thought we might end up with only two, or two healthy ones and a very, very sick baby. 

I am insured through my workplace, though the insurance is high deductible. It's still the best that could be provided by the organization, and vastly better than falling in the gap between the expanded pay-in state insurance program and lower deductible, higher cost insurance. If it weren't for my workplace insurance, when we found out I was pregnant with my 3rd child, prenatal care would have been unobtainable. We had finally gotten out of real poverty, and guaranteed state help for me, but we are still living very much paycheck to paycheck. 

What Happens Next?

AnonymousQuinter KS US

Our family had health insurance through my workplace until my job was unexpectedly terminated after my having health issues. I was later able to get disability, but my husband and high school aged daughter were left uninsured after the subsidized COBRA expired. They were both denied coverage from multiple companies. My husband has a heart irregularity that cannot be corrected, my daughter had experienced a fractured femur and had mentioned acne on a doctor visit. She didn't even receive prescription meds for it, but that was a reason to deny her health insurance. 

Since ACA, my husband has been able to receive insurance coverage. My daughter has had other options since graduating. 

Without the ACA, I Would Absolutely Be Dead Toady

John KisteNew Philadelphia OH US

I was forced by a mysterious lung disease to leave my position. I never smoked, but both lungs failed. Therefore, I had to acquire personal healthcare and eventually had to receive a double lung transplant at The Cleveland Clinic. Without the pre existing conditions clause of the ACA, no one would have insured me (even though doctors insisted I leave my job), and I would absolutely be dead today. We are practically bankrupt anyway due to medical bills, but I am here for my family. I wrote a personal thank you letter to President Obama. It does not seem the present Congress has any thought to folks like me.

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

JessicaSan Jose CA US

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. 

My Hospital Bill for Two Weeks Was $200,000

KathyPiqua OH US

April 1, 2014 was the first day my ACA took effect. I had waited until that date to go to the doctors. I knew there were some things I thought weren't right with me but didn't know how my life would change.

The rescue squad was called from the doctors office to transport me to the hospital. I don't remember much of the first week in the hospital. They kept me in a state of semi-consciousness. Once they woke me I was in a step-down unit for another week.

I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, afib, pneumonia (just a little in one lung), and a few other things. My hospital bill for those two weeks was $200,000. I also had specialist bills and drug bills. I had an insurance policy before ACA but it wouldn't have covered much at all. I am now on Medicare and do not use ACA, but I never understood the bad rap it was given. They always were there for me and answered any questions financially and health-wise.

I Have No Patience for People Who Disregard My Son's Life

Rev. Elizabeth GrashamHouston TX US

In 2011, my family had medical insurance through my then-husband. But in 2011, he went to jail and I had to purchase health insurance for myself and my son. My son was born with a defect that required surgery when he was less than 72 hours old. He has a "pre-existing condition." If the ACA (Obamacare) hadn't already been signed into law, I wouldn't have been able to purchase insurance for him. 

One Stroke of Bad Luck and Anyone Can Find Themselves Unable to Work and Without Insurance

Anonymous

My family doesn't fit the stereotype presented of those who benefit from the Affordable Care Act: we are solidly middle class and my husband and I have four Bachelor’s degrees between us. My background is in finance; he is a software developer - both are traditionally lucrative fields. We have jobs, pay taxes, and do not receive any type of public assistance.

However, I have a condition that is classified as a primary immune deficiency. In extremely simple terms, my blood does not contain a type of cell that is necessary to fight any type of infection or disease. Fortunately a treatment does exist, but it involves receiving an IV infusion monthly for the rest of my life. These infusions are expensive; each treatment costs approximately $10,000 (or $120,000 per year). If I opted to forgo treatment, I would likely die within several years, and would certainly suffer major lung infections in the meantime.

As a Nurse, It Breaks My Heart That Patients Are Already Anticipating Their Own Deaths

KrysFAIRVIEW NC US

I work as a nurse at a hospital. I float all over the hospital and work on several floors. I get to meet patients from different aspects of care every day. What's amazing is the amount of people who are capable of being there at all. I get told all the time that the "only reason" they are there for treatment is because they finally have insurance, or that a family member was able to be treated for cancer because insurance could not deny them. 

This system is not a flawless one and needs a lot of work still, but the ACA has been able to treat people who may have committed suicide, who may not have been able to recover, who may have died without it. Yesterday, I had a patient tell me they were scared of what will happen to them *when* the ACA goes away. "I'll probably die, you know. I won't get treatment if my children will have to pay for it still years later. It's not even guaranteed to work." It broke my heart that people are already anticipating their own deaths.

My Mom Was Uninsured for Years Before the ACA

HillaryGarnavillo IA US

Much of my immediate family is fortunate to have health care through work or government positions. I am a pastor, so my husband, son, and step-son are all covered under our denomination's health provider.

My dad is a Vietnam veteran and my sister is a nurse in the VA system. But, my mom was uninsured for years until the ACA.

My mom does important work and works long hours. She is the legal advocate for the local domestic abuse/sexual assault organization. This past fall, she was even given an award for excellence & dedication in her work by the state of Wisconsin's corrections association. My mom works hard even though the odds are stacked against them, since state and federal funding continues to be cut for their organization. And, without the ACA or an appropriate equivalent, my mom will go back to not having health insurance. She cannot afford health care without the ACA. My parents lived without a stove and oven for over a year, because theirs quit & they can't afford to replace it.

I recognize that our health care system is broken, but I do not think repealing ACA is the answer. Health care was broken before the ACA. The ACA was a positive step in the right direction, but there is still work to be done.

I Can't Believe the Country I Love So Much Is Willing to Let Me Die

Tamara Kincaid

Six years ago, following emergency surgery, I just never recovered. Since then, I have become totally disabled. I walk with a cane, as I have a neuromuscular disorder, two autoimmune diseases, and chronic fatigue and chronic pain. I also live with chronic depression and PTSD due to earlier abuse and trauma. In 2014, I had a heart attack. I had a second heart attack two months ago, and I have been diagnosed with Microvascular Cardiac Disease. My cardiologists have told me my life expectancy is now measured in years, not decades.

When the ACA went into effect, I was finally able to get treatment for all my health conditions, including pre-existing conditions and mental illness. When my partner was laid off a year ago, I was able to keep insurance because of the Medicaid expansion.

With the actions of the GOP, I will lose the coverage for pre-existing conditions, as well as my insurance, since I can't afford to buy insurance. Without insurance and treatment, I face at best a severely limited lifetime. More realistically, without treatment I will probably die within two years.

I can't believe the country I love so much is now willing to let me, and millions of people like me, die so that the GOP can have a victory.

My 1-year-old Will Have $3 Million in Medical Costs

BethanyGarner NC US

I was so excited to meet our second daughter on March 22, 2016. Alarmingly, she was born blue, and within 12 hours she was airlifted to a major medical center. We didn't have any knowledge of it during the pregnancy, but only half of her heart had developed. She was diagnosed with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Most of the time, there's a series of three surgeries that can be done to rework (not cure) the heart. Not my daughter — her heart was too malformed. Her only option was a heart transplant. 

By two weeks old, she was officially on the organ transplant list. My daughter lived in pediatric cardiac ICU for five months, and received constant IV medications to keep her alive. She received blood transfusions, X-rays, ultrasounds, lab work, and went through two lesser surgeries to buy her more time. After 145 days on the list, she received a new heart, and spent another month recovering before going home. 

My Heart Is Broken for My Daughter

Carrie KubaCamas WA US

Yes, there is always more to it than one story. Yes, I understand it is difficult and hardship has also been created. AND no one can convince me that repealing the ACA is the right thing to do. We need to move forward. 

And my heart is broken for my daughter. And our family. And the many, many, many other families and individuals who will be directly affected as well.

When I Shopped for Insurance, I Was Turned Down

Susan Usher EggertShallotte NC US

I am a 63-year-old, college-educated Caucasian female, a native of Brunswick County, N.C., where I now live. Both of my parents had died by the time I was a second-semester freshman in college and I have always taken some pride in my ability to manage on my own, both as a single woman for 16 years, and through 30 years of married life. I have worked outside the home since I was 12 years old, when I started babysitting. I began paying into Social Security as soon as I was old enough to begin waiting tables at Ocean Isle Beach instead of tying tobacco. Presently I work part-time for a local funeral home group, with hours varying from 10 to 25 a week. The only benefit I have is the opportunity to contribute to a 401K, with a company match. I put in 10% of my $10/hour pay. I might have only a few hundred dollars saved by the time I reach 67, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity for the matching funds. Wish I could put in more. 

Cost of Medications Alone Would Sink Us

Anonymous

My daughter lives with anxiety disorder and depression. She requires medication and regular sessions with a psychologist. She also has asthma. The cost of medications alone would sink us, especially since we are taking care of my husband 's 93-year-old mother, which means that I am the only one who can work full time.

Repealing the ACA Would Hurt Job Creation

AnonymousChattanooga TN US

The repeal of the ACA would mean that my husband must remain employed by his current employer indefinitely, whether it is a good decision for our family or not. It means our dreams of owning our own business will be dashed, since business ownership doesn't come with health insurance benefits for a wife and children that we would come close to being able to afford. It means that our city won't see the revenue from a new business, the potential job creation, or experience the benefits of having citizens who are living out their passion, since countless other families will be in similar boats.

My Son Has Been Fighting Battles Since He Was Tiny. Access to Healthcare Shouldn't Be One of Them.

Anonymous KY US

My son started having serious health complications just two months after birth. He has struggled for six years now with multiple, chronic health issues. Prior to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, my son was considered "too risky" for insurance purposes — our family was part of the very highest risk tier and our insurance bills were nearly what our mortgage was! 

While he was covered on our health insurance, I worried about the day that would come when he couldn't be covered under our plan anymore and could be denied coverage due to his preexisting conditions. Things he had no control over. Battles he's fought since he was tiny. The ACA changed all of that. We have affordable health care that is comprehensive. Under the ACA, my son can not be denied insurance for his conditions. My son is a fighter. He is more brave than anyone I have ever met. The idea that he will have to fight not just his health battles, but if ACA is repealed, for any real insurance coverage breaks my heart.

I Had to Return Home from the Mission Field for Surgery. I Don't Know What to Do I Can't Access ACA.

Rev. Debbie BlaneIssaquah WA US

When I am removed from disability in the foreseeable future, I will have to provide for my own health care. I live in the Seattle area and do not foresee finding a “call” (employment) in my field that would provide health care. I will become a low-income person. This was fine when Hillary was going to win the election and I was going to be able to be on the Affordable Care Act. Having returned from the mission field because my body is no longer capable of living in the primitive circumstances of South Sudan, I choose to live now near my daughter, son-in-law and baby granddaughter so that I have support; as well as within the church community. 

Moms Often Feel Vulnerable. But This Level of Exposure Is Like None Other.

Tracy SpeedLittle Rock AR US

My daughter was diagnosed with Juvenile Arthritis when she was 3. We lived in Texas and Her dad was a preacher for a small church and I worked part time at a bank. Fortunately, we were insured through my bank job as they allowed part time employees to have Insurance, although my take home pay was very little at the end of the day, it was worth it.

We moved to Oklahoma for a church. I didn't have a job and we thought we'd just buy private insurance. What we didn't know was this "preexisting condition" lingo. I was soon buried under a mountain of files. For each company I had the application, rejections, appeals, and doctor appeals. We'd even request that she be covered for everything except the arthritis, so I could take her to the doctor for ear infections and fevers — normal kid things. Nope. Nobody would cover her.

"Apply to the high-risk pool that the state offers," was a common refrain. That would have cost over $800 for just her, and we didn't qualify since we hadn't lived in the state for 12 months.

On 1/12/2008 my daughter was officially uninsured.

Thank god that I found a similar denomination that was opening up their group coverage to similar denominations. It was through them that my caught finally was covered again. Since then her dad left ministry and we divorced. My daughters have remained on Medicaid. My daughter's medical bills are easily over $10,000 a month. If we lose this coverage, I don't know what we'll do. I work full time and have insurance through my job, and may be able to add the kids. But, there's talk of doing away with the preexisting condition assistance. I don't know that our insurance company will take her. I am so scared.

As moms we often feel vulnerable. But this level of exposure and vulnerability is like none other. Help.

Healthcare Should Not Be Accessible Only to the Wealthy

AnonymousTarrytown, NY NY US

My husband and I are now freelance musicians living in the NYC area. My husband and I have been freelance for much of our married life, working part-time jobs teaching in conservatories in Manhattan, teaching private lessons, doing residencies in public schools, performing, etc. My husband was offered a full time job at his institution about 5 years back, which he reluctantly took — he would get health insurance, the big clincher, since we were having a second child at the time, but it required 40 hours of both office work and teaching. As as composer, who lives and breathes music, a real creator, this was a big sacrifice. As his career progressed he was increasingly unhappy, not only to not have the flexibility to fulfill his dreams as a writer, producer, and pianist, but he found himself working for an administration with a goal that was in conflict with his ideals. As the conservatory went through changes and threatened collapsed due to the change in direction of the administration, my husband decided to leave. One of the big decisions was the new Obamacare that had just gone into effect, and we had found that suddenly the prospects of living our dream was not out of reach and that we would be able to realistically leave his job while transitioning to the self-employed world of building your own business and dream.

Shortly after my husband left his job, indeed the conservatory closed, and we applied for Obamacare and got a decent subsidy which has allowed us to manage our very difficult financial situation as we establish our own art space, private studios, relationships with educational institutions as private contractors, etc. We are extremely grateful for the affordable health care that has provided our two children with very good health insurance, and the two of us with a basic plan that has served our limited needs.

We have renewed for the coming year, the subsidy was adjusted slightly due to the drop in income that we experienced after leaving his former job, and we are only able to do what we are doing because of this help. My husband and I have been to a doctor maybe one time over the past 9 months, have maybe had to be on medication once, have taken very little "advantage" of the system, but simply are able to sleep well knowing that if something major happens we will not lose our home.

We are both frightened at what lies ahead as the new president takes his place, as we are not prepared to lose this subsidy at this difficult time of building our careers and providing for our two young children. We believe that we should not be required to sacrifice our dreams and passion at what we do best just to be able to pay for health insurance when we barely are sick, rarely go to the doctor. Thank you OBAMA for helping us realize our dreams, and providing every American the basics of human existence ... The cost of doctors when paying out-of-pocket, the cost of being hospitalized, is astronomical and should not be only accessible to the wealthy.

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

AmandaScottsdale AZ US

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 ...

Thanks to the ACA, I'm Not Concerned About Dying as a Result of a Clerical Error

Adrian WallerWichita KS US

When I was 19, I got married to the love of my life, who I'm still married to today, seven years later. In 2009, we were still experiencing the effects of the greatest recession the country has seen in my short lifetime. Because the ACA had not been passed, I lost my insurance upon marriage, because the provision for children to stay on parents' insurance until age 26 had not passed. Additionally, I suffer from several chronic, rare diseases, so even if I wanted to find my own insurance, as a full-time student working a work-study job, affording insurance (after hiked rates because of pre-existing conditions) would've been impossible. Instead, I managed my daily life, getting sicker and sicker each day. 

The ACA Is the Only Thing Keeping Our Family Afloat

AngiePlymouth IN US

My husband and I both work in the nonprofit sector. Every day we spend in service to others. Yet both of our small nonprofits are not able to offer health insurance. The Affordable Care Act is the only option for us. Last year we discovered that my son has a hearing impairment and needs a hearing aid. We were blown away by how expensive they are. At the same time, we are in the midst of searching for a diagnosis for my husband for a mystery illness. Our local doctors are stumped. To be blunt, the ACA is the only thing keeping our family afloat right now in the midst of so much uncertainty — uncertainty about my family's health and how to plan for our future.

I'm Spending More

AnonymousTucson AZ US

Ever since the Affordable Care Act came out, I now am spending twice as much for insurance coverage that has more then twice the deductible I had before it. I am now too scared to go to the doctor because I have to cover my super high deductible, and I have lest money to spend on my deductible because of my super increased premiums.

We Don't Need to Decide Between Paying for Groceries or a Doctor Visit

Heather Flanders Northfield MN US

When I was 16, my father died from pneumonia. This was in 2005. He got sick on a Monday and couldn't pick us up for his scheduled days. On Saturday, I went to the hospital at 9 a.m. because my dad was sick; and at 3 p.m. that same day, a doctor came in and told us that he had died. 

My father worked as a steel worker his whole life. He was a union president for most of my life. He fought to get education for his coworkers when the plant closed. He died because he couldn't afford to go to the doctor and pay the exam fees and subsequent medication regimen. He chose between paying his rent or the doctor and unfortunately he chose wrong. 

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