1. Emily in Michigan

    I'm a medical student. Because of Medicaid expansion, one of my patients, a young mother, received treatment for a rare and life-threatening brain condition, after being told by 3 other hospitals that her condition was all in her head. Her hospital stay took months, but she and her family are now on the road to rehabilitation.
  2. Christa in Michigan

    I am a Family Physician. I practiced medicine before ACA and after ACA. Since ACA I have witnessed patients who previously were disabled regain their ability to work, because of access to care for anything from orthopedic surgery to mental health care to physical therapy. I am also able to help my patients avoid disability, because they can afford their medication, their cancer screenings, and their necessary tests. I also have seen the freedom the ACA has provided to people who want to leave a toxic workplace to even start their own small business, because they knew they could obtain insurance on their own. I don't want to go back to the time before ACA.
  3. Darla in Michigan

    I'm on disability from chronic pain because of a doctor's mistake with back surgery. I'm going to have my 5th back surgery. I live alone and on disability. I already pay huge premiums for my insurance. if this goes through I'm terrified I will be homeless
  4. Rick in Michigan

    My wife and family have been in buisness for 20 years, and we have paid premiums of 900 per month. My wife then came down with MS. Our insurance issues turned into a nightmare. We had one small medical issue and our share of the cost was 10000 dollars, with a yearly income of 20000 thousand. We ate a lot of Mack and cheese. When Obama was elected we had new hope that our country would finally join the rest of the world and provide it's people with what ever type of medical care. I don't mind paying for it if I can do it without going broke. After waiting for the two years that it took to implement , we finally had a program we could afford. The weight off our shoulders was undescribable.. We could sleep again, our life seemed great again even though we had medical issues it still felt great. For the last 6 years, the Republicans have done everything in their power to make the program not work, and now they blame the other party. Now it seems they want to take us back into the dark ages and go back to what didn't work before, all in the name of a tax break for people who have good healthcare and don't need more money to live a great life. I wish some of our senators could go thru what we have, to help them understand. I wonder if they would take the money for their child's heart surgery and give it to a rich person instead, I think not. Let the so called American people vote on healthcare like a true democracy. Then if we want it, it will be their job to figure out how to provide it. They would have to work for a Change! My family finally climbed out of the hole we were in, if you throw us back into the hole and cover us with dirt, America will definitely not be great again, it will be worse again.
  5. Nathan in Michigan

    I am a builder who biulds and maintain homes for many of the wealthiest people in our state. I have worked hard and climbed my way to the top over the last 20 years. None of the employers in my area offered insurance and only until the aca was I able to afford the health care I need. I have sever asthma and have developed arthritis in my right hip. Even with the aca we still struggle to pay my medical bills but we manage. Now we are worried that not only will we loose our subsidy I could be priced right out by being put in a high risk pool because I have pre existing conditions. I am make top dollar working for the people who are going to reap the profits from taking away my ability to breathe and walk. Makes no sense to me you want people to work on your house they need health care the greed is out of control.
  6. Shelly in Michigan

    About a month ago, my mom was diagnosed with treatable stage 4 colon cancer at age 52. My mom only previously made about $25,000 a year, and once she was diagnosed, she couldn't work anymore. As she worked as a private caregiver, she didn't have any health insurance, and she relied on Medicaid to pay for her chemo treatments and hospital stays. If this funding is cut, she will not be able to continue her chemo treatments that she desperately needs to stay alive.
  7. Zaynab in Michigan

    My name is Zaynab and I would like to share my family's story about how Medicaid changed our lives. I come from a Pakistani American working class family. Before the ACA, our family did not have the means to afford health insurance, but when Medicaid expansion took place in Michigan, my family was one of the first to come to ACCESS to get enrolled to take a positive step towards our health and wellbeing as a family. ACCESS helped us through a lengthy process of applying for Medicaid coverage. We went back and forth with the state health office when finally, in 2015, me and my two siblings received Medicaid coverage. For some reason, my parents had not yet been approved, but nonetheless were glad that we were.

    Just a few months later that year, our lives changed forever. My father had been complaining about stomach pain; we told him to go to the hospital, but aside from a trip to a nearby free clinic, he refused to seek further care. I now realize that he was trying to protect us from the financial burden because he didn’t have coverage. One night, he suddenly collapsed in the shower. When the paramedics arrived, he still had a weak pulse, so they took him to the hospital. He passed away in the hospital within 24 hours. We were lost and devastated, and before being able to grieve and process our loss, were given a $44,000 bill from the hospital for that one night. At this point, we did not have the means to afford this bill, figured that we would have to sell our house and car to pay it off. We returned to ACCESS the next week to tell them what had happened, and this is when they told us they would do whatever it took to get the bill taken care of so we wouldn’t have to resort to that.

    ACCESS worked tirelessly with our family over the course of the week with the Medicaid office, and because of their efforts, our family finally received Medicaid approval for our father and mother. We were relieved of the $44,000 bill and were able to focus on our grieving and move forward together, emotionally and financially. Today, we live our lives a little more peacefully because our mother has health coverage and seeks preventive care to ensure that what happened to our father does not happen to her.

    My brother was able to focus on his studies, graduated and now works a fulltime job. As for me, my father’s dream was always for me to pursue a career as a healthcare professional. Because we were relieved of this financial burden, I was also able to focus on my schoolwork in pursuit of dental school. I stand here today not only as a college graduate, but as someone who has been accepted to dental school, and will begin in the Fall. None of this would have been possible without the help of the Medicaid program. I hope you take my story, and ones like it, into consideration when discussing and debating the importance of Medicaid to the lives of Michiganders and other Americans across the country. Thank you for your time.
  8. Hussein in Michigan

    My name is Hussein and I am from Warren, Michigan. I would like to share the story of how Medicaid saved my life and helped my daughter access treatment and services we would otherwise not have been able to afford. Working as a truck driver, I was comfortably providing for my family. My family and I had no medical history and were leading healthy lives.

    Last year, I was shot in the head and thankfully survived. My slow recovery resulted in my inability to work and the eventual loss of my job. After my medical expenses kept piling up, I was forced to sell my house to help pay for the bills. A few months later, I was shopping with my family at Wal-Mart when I suddenly collapsed and started seizing. Fortunately, a generous bystander rushed to my side and began dialing 911. I tried to get her attention to stop, knowing I could not afford the medical bills that would follow. However, she assured my family that she would help us find assistance to pay for the bills. As the ambulance arrived, she gave my wife the phone number for Eva, a Health Care Navigator at ACCESS. A few days after the incident, we set up an appointment with Eva. She assisted us with securing Medicaid as well as other benefits to help us get by. I began seeing a specialist for my head injury and could afford the medications prescribed to me.

    Fast forward several months later, my daughter was diagnosed with diabetes. Without Medicaid, seeking treatment for my daughter would have been near impossible. The Medicaid coverage my family has continues to be the difference between life and death. I am afraid that if the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is repealed, my family and I would lose the peace of mind that comes with being able to seek medical attention when necessary. Medicaid has been a positive resource in my family’s life in our most difficult times. Medicaid made it possible for me to go back to work, provide for my family, and even purchase a condominium. None of this would have been possible without the assistance of Medicaid. Thank you for your time.
  9. Fadhil in Michigan

    My name is Fadhil and I would like to share the story of how Medicaid kept my family together. I currently live in Sterling Heights, Michigan with my family in a modest home. As a low-income family, we did not receive health coverage from our employers and did not know if we were eligible for Medicaid. After complaining of severe pain, my wife decided to schedule an appointment to see a doctor. During the visit, the doctor informed my wife that she had to remove her ovaries. With no medical coverage, her surgery and medical expenses that would follow would be impossible for us to pay.

    I began feeling desperate because the doctor said surgery was mandatory to give my wife the best chance of surviving. This is when we decided to visit ACCESS and seek assistance for medical coverage. During our first meeting, Kaes assured us that many people with similar predicaments turned to ACCESS and successfully received medical coverage. We applied for Medicaid and after a few weeks received notification that we qualified. After my wife’s successful surgery, she began taking her medications and has been steadily recovering since.

    Without Medicaid, paying for treatment for my wife would have been impossible. I am afraid that if the ACA is repealed, my family and I would lose the peace of mind that comes with being able to seek medical attention when it is necessary. Medicaid has been a positive resource in my family’s life in our most difficult times. Today, my family is living a comfortable and healthy life, and none of this would have been possible without the assistance of Medicaid. Thank you for your time.
  10. Mike in Michigan

    My name is Mike Abed and I would like to share how Medicaid positively impacted my life. Three years ago, I fled Iraq as a refugee and ended up in Sterling Heights, Michigan. With limited access to regular healthcare treatment in Iraq, I hoped to attend to my medical concerns in the States. As a 66-year-old living with diabetes and high blood pressure, I knew that the proper care was critical to a healthy lifestyle moving forward. After visiting a doctor, I was diagnosed with high cholesterol and a malignant tumor was also found. Being retired and not eligible for social security benefits, the limited resources I had would not be sufficient enough to cover the out-of-pocket expenses for treatments and medications for my conditions.

    I was directed to ACCESS and met with Eva for assistance to find health coverage. During our first meeting, I described to her my medical conditions and my inability to pay for my accumulating medical expenses. She immediately helped me fill out and submit an application for Medicaid. Through the support of ACCESS, my application was approved after a few weeks. This allowed me to schedule the necessary surgery to remove my tumor, and to begin taking medications for my conditions without straining my resources. The Medicaid coverage I received has given me an overall better quality of life. I am dependent on Medicaid under the ACA. I am afraid that if the ACA is repealed, I would not be able to afford the medications and doctor’s visits that keep me healthy. Fortunately, I am able to visit my doctors regularly and have been adhering to my medications. None of this would have been possible without the assistance of Medicaid.
  11. May in Michigan

    My name is May Elhaddad and I am here to share how the ACA saved my life. Working in Sterling Heights, I was fulfilling my dream of being a salon owner while leading a healthy lifestyle. One day, a client of mine shared a story of her mother. My client’s mother was at a routine physical when the doctor discovered a lump on her breast, and she was subsequently diagnosed with breast cancer. This particular story alarmed me because of the similar symptoms I was experiencing at the time. Fearful, I found a free clinic offering mammograms and decided to make an appointment. After the doctor diagnosed me with breast cancer I was left devastated and uncertain of the future. With no medical coverage I did not know how I could afford the vast treatments and numerous doctor’s visits.

    Fighting cancer became my full time occupation, which unfortunately led to the loss of my business and primary source of income. A friend of mine recommended that I speak with Eva at ACCESS to apply for medical coverage to seek further assistance. Eva helped me personalize a medical plan for me through the Marketplace, which I was able to get despite having a preexisting condition thanks to the ACA. After I was approved for coverage, I began seeing my doctors regularly and scheduled a surgery to remove the cancer. After successful surgery and recovery, I am currently in the process of opening another hair salon.

    Without the ACA, I would never have been able to afford the medical coverage that kept me alive. I am afraid that if the ACA is repealed, many people will not be as fortunate as I was and suffer unnecessarily. There is no reason for someone to be put in the position to pursue medical coverage with the consequence of hefty medical bills and potential burden for other family members.
  12. Gailie in Michigan

    I came to this country two years ago because my husband and his children all live here. I have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and I am a cancer survivor. Coming to this country was exciting and terrifying. Burdened by my diagnoses, the anxiety and questions surrounding healthcare were frequently on my mind. How would I get medication? How much will it cost for a doctor visit? Is a mammogram affordable? These are some of the many questions I constantly asked myself. My husband was working a part-time job and couldn’t afford to pay for the proper medication and treatment needed. As a result, we were faced with difficult decisions and often forced to give up some necessities to afford my medications.

    As the days passed, I began to feel a lump develop on my breast. At that moment, I knew that I had to find other alternatives to get the help I need. My husband and I went to ACCESS after being referred by a close friend. I met Azza who provided me with all the information needed and referred me to their clinic for a mammogram. My husband and I were shocked to see how affordable the plans were on the exchange. We compared and selected a Marketplace plan, I felt like I was given my life back.

    The financial burden was relieved, and I am now monitoring my health with the help of a physician while having access to the necessary medication. If it wasn’t for the Marketplace, I do not know where I would be. The repeal of the ACA would be a devastating blow to myself and the millions of Americans who depend on it.
  13. Kulsum in Michigan

    My name is Kulsum and I am 69 years old. I’ve been a pretty healthy person my whole life, but no one ever knows what’s in store for them. I came to America in 2014 to live with my son and his family. Once I arrived in Michigan, I became ill and had to see a doctor. The doctor informed me that I have high blood pressure, high cholesterol and an issue with my thyroid. I was not expecting to hear this kind of life changing news, and worse, I was not financially prepared for it. I had Emergency Services Only Medicaid. My son Shahid was my sole source of income, and I knew that treatment was going to be too expensive.

    For the first few doctor’s visits, my son paid out-of-pocket and also paid for my medications. After a while, we found ourselves making the difficult decision that would impact our entire family. The question between paying bills or paying for the medication, which was emotionally and financially exhausting.

    Shahid knew that there had to be a better and more affordable solution. With his guidance and support, my son and I went to ACCESS and spoke with Eva, who provided us with options through the Marketplace. The plans were affordable and they made it so easy to pick a plan. I now have health coverage and I’m so thankful for it. I can get my medication, see my physician, and lead an overall healthier life.
  14. Anonymous in Michigan

    I am a 66-year-old resident of St. Clair Shores, Michigan. I thought I lived a healthy life and went without insurance for three whole years. Anytime I would fall ill, I would never go see a doctor. I always thought of myself as someone in good health that did not need insurance. This was my cover, but the reason I was not insured was because I could not afford to see a doctor. I worked a part-time job with a staffing agency as a laborer, which was only getting us by from paycheck to paycheck.

    I fell ill and had no other option then to see a doctor. The doctor explained that I have hypertension. Paying for the visit was expensive and the medication costs were even higher. I couldn’t afford to get my prescriptions filled but I knew I had to find a way. I went to ACCESS to see if they could help. Eva, a Navigator at ACCESS, explained how Medicaid works and even assisted us with the application process. Thanks to the expansion of Medicaid, we were approved and sent our member cards. I see my doctor regularly to make sure that my hypertension is under control and my medication is paid for. What Medicaid provided for me is peace of mind and stability.
  15. Hafedh in Michigan

    I came to this country as a refugee in 2010. It was difficult to adjust to the country, but with time we began to get acclimated and comfortable to life in Sterling Heights. My family and I stayed without health insurance for 4 years, until I sustained a back injury at work. I went to see my employer’s doctor who told me that I also had high blood pressure and asthma. The medication that was given to me would cost me $200 every month. This additional expense, given my current job and income, was not affordable.

    I got in contact with Azza from ACCESS who helped me apply for an insurance plan. Azza assisted with the Medicaid application and I was approved after two weeks. After receiving my card, I visited a doctor for a check-up and get the medicine I needed. I am now monitoring my health, going to work, taking care of my family. I can proudly say I am living the American dream.
  16. Bushra in Michigan

    I came to this country with my husband and three children from Iraq as refugees. Once we arrived, we had an issue with our Medicaid and needed to forgo our children vaccinations for school. Moreover, my husband needed to do surgery on his leg. We delayed the surgery and began working overtime because we decided that the best thing to do was pay for the surgery ourselves, as our insurance was inactive.

    My husband began to feel pain from his leg, which was inhibiting his ability to work. We decided that we needed solve the problem by applying for Medicaid. We scheduled an appointment with Kaes from ACCESS who assisted us with a Medicaid application. We were so happy to get insurance and finally do the surgery for my husband. My children see their doctor regularly and are up-to-date on their shots and my husband is now back to work after the surgery. Having health insurance has helped us achieve financial stability and care for ourselves and our health.
Read next page