Jessica in IllinoisI'm a type 1 diabetic and I live with severe depression, so there has never been a moment in my life when I wasn't worried about healthcare. I took a 5th year in college because it allowed me to stay on my parents plan and was cheeper the cobra. A year latter I married my first husband a week before graduation so I could be put on his work insurance without a gap in coverage. I feel as if every decision I have made as an adult has been related to the question: will this impact my heath and health insurance? Obamacare allows people with chronic conditions to get the care they need to live productive lives without having to worry as much about coverage.
Brenda in CaliforniaLoss of the employer and individual mandate will certainly affect my coverage. This will snowball into Medicare and I will be counting on THAT in the years to come. Please do not repeal the ACA. Make it stronger! Make the insurance companies work to cover everyone and don't take our insurance away!
Jacky in WashingtonI just changed jobs - I now work for a small company of only 7 employees. My kind CEO offers health insurance even though she doesn't have to. My health plan covers myself and my one year old son. It was a hard decision leaving my big corporate job to work for a small company, but it's a group of people and a mission I'm passionate about, and I am happy I made the change. Maintaining healthcare was my one concern, and luckily the new company made it available. I think we're going to lose it if Trumpcare passes. If premiums are going to skyrocket over 1500% as predicted, it will not be financially feasible for my CEO to continue offering benefits. That, and since I've been pregnant I now have a pre-existing condition, keeps me awake at night terrified what could happen to our finances if something were to happen to me or my baby and we didn't have healthcare. This country needs single payer universal coverage to allow people like me to work a job I love without fear, to allow entrepreneurs like my CEO to follow their passion without worrying about keeping employees like me who need healthcare, or ruining their bottom line trying to offer benefits to keep employees so they can grow their business. Work with the Democrats to FIX the ACA, I beg the GOP, if y'all are so dead set against universal single payer. Fine. Jus don't blow it up. IThe ACA is saving lives, it's allowing freedom of movement, it's helping small businesses grow. It's keeping sick children alive. It's keeping veterans healthy. Fix it, fix it, fix it. Save it. Save us.
Georgia in VermontTwelve years ago, my healthy 30-year-old daughter was self-employed in Chicago, with no employer-provided health insurance. I insisted she have at least hospitalization and catastrophic coverage. Because she had taken a common antidepressant for a few months several years before, the only insurance she could get was $600 a month for a plan with high deductibles and high copays. When she married the next year, her husband's employers did not provide health insurance either, and maternity coverage on individual plans was so low that it wasn't worth it to pay for it. When their son was born, they had out of pocket expenses of $5100 for pre-natal care and an uncomplicated delivery with no anesthetic, and with the shortest allowable hospital stay. When their newborn son developed a (hospital-acquired!) staph infection and was hospitalized for 18 hours for intravenous antibiotics, that was another $7000, of which their insurance paid only half. I do not want to go back to a time when insurance companies can pick and choose who they want to insure, and are free to set unaffordable rates for everyone else.
Jennifer in New YorkMy story isn’t a dramatic one, but I need the ACA because I’m a freelancer. In my late 30s, I was laid off during the recession (2009), went back to school, changed my career, became a freelancer. At first, my current company offered me benefits, but at the last minute, just after the first ACA sign-up deadline, they decided to offer me a contract without benefits. I missed the first year of ACA because of this, so in total I went 5 years without health insurance.
Since my company will not offer me a staff position, and I’m a woman paid less than my male counterparts, I will never be able to afford a higher priced healthcare. I’m getting older. I have no pre-existing conditions, yet my premium has gone up 13.5% this year. I’m already paying over 10% of my income for my healthcare premium with a high deductible. I will be priced out of basic insurance if this administration continues to defy the constitution by sabotaging current US law, and discouraging sign-ups and healthcare insurers.
The ACA was a first step on our way to universal healthcare, something many countries in the world have accomplished. It was a monumental effort of cooperation between government, states, industries and individuals. We must keep going with the ACA and fix its faults. The nonsensical machismo posturing in our White House and Congress must stop and they either need to remember why we voted for them, or resign.
Susan in TexasMy daughter was diagnosed at the age of 44 with Stage IV colon cancer. Besides providing for three teenagers on a teacher's salary, she had to cover all the expenses that her insurance does not cover: deductibles, co-pays, transportation, parking, etc. She also used all of her accumulated sick leave and had her salary docked when she was unable to go back to work for about six weeks. In addition, there were those little "oops" moments that occur when you are battling a life-threatening condition and aren't really paying close attention. For example, her doctor called in a pulmonary specialist. In spite of that specialist being pictured prominently on the website of the in-network hospital, the specialist was out of network. More money. Then, as she was in the middle of chemo, she came to the end of her policy year. Guess what. She had to meet her deductible, which meant that she had to pay for a round of chemo out of her own pocket. I spent hours on the phone and on the computer looking for sources of help. The hospital gave me a lengthy list of non-profits to check, but in each case, the money for the year was already spent, or the money was designated for a different kind of cancer. (Colon cancer isn't sexy.) The bottom line is that even those with "good" insurance can expect to pay a lot of money if they have a major illness. If we still had lifetime maximums as we used to, she would have hit that limit long ago. My concern is that coverage for pre-existing conditions is preserved and that insurance companies are not allowed to re-instate annual and lifetime maximums. Our story has a happy ending. In two days, I will be taking my daughter to get her chemotherapy port removed, because it looks as if she will be one of the 12% that beats Stage IV colon cancer. What a shame that along with battling cancer, she also had to battle the medical establishment. But it could have been much, much worse, and that is what I fear if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.
Casey in TexasWhen my brother moved out here to Austin from California (and left the constituency of Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, to join the constituency of John Cornyn and Ted Cruz), he had to change his health insurance plan. My brother has Crohn's Disease, an lifelong, incurable auto-immune disorder which will cause him to need surgery many times during his life. During the change, his new health insurance company took advantage of a paperwork anomaly (not caused by him) to make the case that his Crohn's was a pre-existing condition. Only the passage of the ACA saved him. My brother did everything right - he maintained his coverage consistently and worked with his health insurance company. He was a model customer, and still - they would have removed him, and left him to bankruptcy and death, if it hadn't been for the ACA.
I can't go back to that world. I won't. We need Medicare for all, and we need it NOW.
Heidi in New JerseyI am a 64 year old woman who depends on Medicaid for health care. After loosing my job at 58, I re-trained as a massage therapist and work part time, making 15K per year. With Social Security, 25K, soon to be reduced by payments to Medicare once turning 65. My income does not allow for "extras", such as Dr.visits and prescriptions, not to mention any medical tests I may need.
Beth in TennesseeRepealing ACA would kill my brother and put me at risk. Both of us suffer from pre-existing conditions, but most importantly, having access to mental health care and substance abuse treatment saved our lives. In 1987 when I was 19 and my brother was five days from turning 16, our beloved dad, because of depression & alcoholism, shot himself in the head and died. My little brother came home from school to find him, & what he saw, described to me the night dad died, has haunted me for a lifetime & kept my brother in a constant loop of substance abuse and severe depression/PTSD. The ACA allowed both of us to finally be treated for the PTSD/depression & substance abuse. Both of us have been sober for years, & although we still suffer from depression/ptsd, we are able to be treated for it because of the ACA. If this is taken away, I'm positive my brother will kill himself within a years time & I will have to suffer, yet again, the loss of someone I love with all my heart. I have a son that will keep me from doing the same because I could never do to him what our father did to us. But my Brother is single, no children and still lives a life where he struggles mightily against demons most would've succumbed to long ago. If the GOP destroys the ACA they will be murdering people. By taking away life-saving treatment, whether it's for cancer, diabetes, depression/PTSD, substance abuse, etc., Trump/GOP will be killing people just as if they had put a gun to their head and pulled the trigger. Between the two of us, my brother and I suffer from pre-existing conditions like psoriasis, diabetes, back problems, mental health issues, substance-abuse & COPD. There's no way we will be able to purchase Insurance if the ACA is repealed, because the cost would bankrupt us even if we were allowed to purchase any because of our pre-existing conditions. I can't adequately express how the intense fear & distress we have felt knowing our insurance could be ripped from us & because I'm 15 years away from Medicare... it would probably be a kindness to my family if I did kill myself instead of subjecting them to the cost of trying to keep me going until then. Make no mistake, I don't want to die, and I will continue to fight against this inhumane, immoral, corrupt legislation and administration.. but every day will be a struggle to stay alive. I've always thought America was great because government was there to help those who are in need for whatever reason....but Trump's administration is proving to be beyond heartless and cruel. I am blessed with the resources to be able to afford to pay my own insurance right now with no help from the government, so I'm not asking for any handouts, I just don't want my government to stack the deck so high against me that suicide is a more viable & fiscally responsible choice than life.
Liz in TennesseeThe ACA has allowed me to become self employed by providing affordable access to insurance coverage. Without it, one single accident or healthcare incident could make all of my hard work for nothing, wiping out what I've built for my family. Even in Tennessee where we don't have a lot of options, the ACA is better than what we had before, but it seems my senators here care more about their party than their constituents that they would even consider a repeal of the ACA without a viable replacement rather than working to fix the issues with the current bill (caused by lack of Republican care for those impacted).
Jay in GeorgiaI run a small business - just 4 full time, well paying jobs. We're far too small to purchase a group health plan, so we depend on ACA. Without it, we couldn't operate - health coverage would not be available without ACA's individual plans that cover pre-existing conditions.
Rick in KentuckyI am a mental health worker in McConnells home state of Kentucky. While I did not initially support the idea of universal health care & I didn't enjoy the bumpy transition to managed care I cannot deny the benefit that it has given millions of families and youth in the state of Kentucky. I have been able to work with thousands of kids who without ObamaCare would not have been able to seek mental health treatment. Hundreds of teens who got substance abuse treatment at 15 instead of 35 when it's too late. Hundreds of kids who did not take their own lives because they got treatment for depression before the suicidal thoughts moved to actions. Hundreds of abused kids who were able to process their trauma before it turned into a new abusive cycle. Hundreds of hurt and angry kids who needed to be recognized before they took a gun into their school to force people to pay attention.
In addition to this when I transitioned to private practice the only way I could afford to start my own practice and provide insurance for myself, my wife & 1 year old daughter was through the exchanges. Contrary to even my own previous beliefs, Obamacare enables me to be my own small business owner. Yeah it uses tax payer money, but it enables me to help families and youth in this state avoid being a strain on taxpayers in even more detrimental ways to society as a whole. Plus, while I'll admit the insurance isn't great & the premiums have risen, Obamacare provides piece of mind for me and my family.
Obamacare isn't ideal. It needs work and by all means fix what's broken but if that means slashing medicaid and cutting funding from Obamacare for programs like mental health, that means kids & families will struggle again to get the help they need. It means an entire generation of abused kids grow up to repeat their abusive cycle. It means more suicidal teens are denied access to the intensive help they need, and more kids take their own lives before reaching graduation. It means more 13 year old Marijuana users end up 25 year old pain pill/meth addicts. It means more kids boiling over with anger will be one step closer to plotting something disastrous at your child's school. It means people like me, people in the trenches with these families that need help, cannot afford to be there without sacrificing the health, well being, and financial security of the ones they hold most dear.
Obamacare shouldn't be political. It isn't socialized medicine, and it needn't be a piece of legislation tied to one political party while the other tries to tear it down out of spite. It's about providing anyone and everyone the opportunity for medical care. If you repeal or carve away at that opportunity you're carving away at the quality of life of the American people, and the future of this country.
Helen in North CarolinaI have psoriatic arthritis and Crohn's disease. My husband, 12 years older, is retired and I am unable to work because of my chronic illnesses. I am insured through the ACA marketplace. If I lose this insurance, either because the state waives the pre-existing conditions requirement or because the premiums become unaffordable on our limited, fixed income, the medications that keep me out of the hospital and functioning in the world will be out of reach for us. Without medication, I will be wiped out by the fatigue that accompanies both illnesses. I will have severe joint pain limiting everything I want to do - even walking around the house. Snf I will have frequent bowel obstructions sending me to the hospital for stays of at least several days. On a daily basis, I will have severe GI distress with pain and cramping. I know this because I've been through it before we found a medication that works decently - and I still have occasional days like this. And without insurance, one day I will be trying to wait out an obstruction rather than incur another unpayable hospital bill and I will end up dying from a perforated bowe. While I don't have cancer, the ACA is truly about saving my life.
Theresa in New YorkMy story is about my daughter Emily who has been diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma, so rare that the drs at Cleveland Clinic aren't quite sure how to treat it. She has just started radiation but there's a chance that she will have to go through Chemo therapy afterwards. She is only 27 years old. I am so worried that she will lose her coverage.
Nick in TexasI have chronic Lyme disease. I depend on the aca for the prescriptions that make me well enough to work at a daycare. Without my medicine I have severe chronic pain and can not work. All I want is a chance to contribute to society, but without the aca my prescriptions would cost $2000 a month. I currently earn $3000 a month caring for other people's kids so they can work. Please don't make my prescriptions so expensive that I can't afford them. Living with a chronic illness is a hard road. Don't make it harder by stripping the protections the aca provides people like me.
Jessica in TexasI work as a medical transcriptionist, and I'm an independent contractor, which is typical for people in this field. That means I don't get any employee benefits even though I work full time. I have to buy my own health insurance. I currently do that through the ACA. If it gets repealed and replaced with any version of the BCRA, my premiums will skyrocket. Realistically, I won't be able to afford health insurance even though I work full time. I am a middle aged woman, and I will have to move back in with my parents in order to be able to afford basic health care.
I beg my senators to oppose the BCRA and/or the so-called "skinny repeal" that is being discussed. Please, I beg you to work with your Democratic colleagues to fix the ACA.
Lora in MassachusettsI had a knee replacement and subsequent postoperative infection. My insurance covered two full weeks of hospitalization, visiting nursing care and 6months of physical therapy. It also covered the care of an infectious disease doctor, numerous tests and outpatient services. Without insurance coverage, I would be unable to walk without devastating pain. Insurance allowed me to resume my life and go back to work.
I request that theSenate Bill be amended to require that employer and private insurance include rehabilitative care, hospitalization, outpatient care, and labs as essential services, and that no subsequent BCRA Amendment in 2017 can remove such services.
Thea in MassachusettsMy friend’s wife had a relatively minor stroke in her late 50’s. As a result of the stroke, she needs daily medication to go along with the physical and occupational therapy she had to have. She is now working again but might not have been able to return to work without rehabilitation services. She also currently relies on medication to maintain her health.
Please amend the Better Care Reconciliation Bill to eliminate lifetime caps on all 10 essential services as defined by the Affordable Care Act and require that all employers offer the broadest coverage required by any state in which they do business.
Pam in MassachusettsTen years ago, I found an abdominal lump that ultrasound revealed to be a potentially cancerous ovarian cyst. My CA 125 test for ovarian cancer was negative, however, and a local surgeon therefore offered to remove the cyst laparoscopically by chopping it up and pulling out the pieces. Thanks to a second opinion with a Dana Farber surgeon,I learned that particular test for ovarian cancer is incorrect 50% of the time until the cancer has spread beyond the ovary. The Dana Farber surgeon successfully removed the cyst, which was later found to be cancerous.
If I had not been covered for second opinions and laboratory tests, I might not be alive today.
Please amend the BCRA so that all the services currently available under the ACA continue to be required in all employer and private BCRA insurance policies and that such services are also covered by Medicaid.
Amy in MassachusettsA friend’s daughter,diagnosed with liver disease soon after birth, required many services and medications. Her family hoped for a transplant, however even after moving to another state with more likelihood for a transplant, she did not survive.
I request that the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Bill be amended so that that everyone legally in this country has insurance for congenital and pre-existing conditions for at minimum, all ten essential services as defined in the Affordable Care Act, and that people seeking treatment for chronic illness not be denied or restricted because they cannot afford private insurance. There cannot be a cap on medical expenses incurred for treatment of chronic illness.
Andrea in MassachusettsI was at the Boston Marathon in 2013, the year I which terrorists bombed the finish line, and I have a special feeling for those who were injured. Many the victims required multiple operations, rehabilitation, and prostheses. Even with insurance policies and the One Fund, several have already gone bankrupt, and more are sure to follow.
According to Kathryn Watson of CBS News, the Senate bill will allow states to opt out of offering essential services like rehabilitation. I propose that the BCRA be amended so that no victim of a terrorist attack be denied treatment or coverage for any of the ten essential services set forth in the Affordable Care Act. Since no one knows in advance what will befall them, all potential victims of a terrorist attack should be entitled to such protection as well. In other words: all of us.