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!
Chris in CaliforniaI work as an physical theater artist, teacher, and community organizer. I forego a high-paying job in order to do work that benefits the community. I've been on MediCal and now Obamacare. I learned 6 months ago that, at the age of 41, I have premature severe arthritis in my hip that will require a hip replacement in 5-8 years. My job involves constant movement, so this hits me hard. If Obamacare goes away, there's no way I'll be able to afford insurance; and with a pre-existing condition, who would insure me? I'm terrified of what the loss of that program would mean for me.
Sara in CaliforniaIf McConnell succeeds in giving the gift of my health and my life to the wealthiest among us, I plan to give the gift of my death to him. With a life-limiting condition, when I run out of money for treatment and money to support me, I am going to bring my diseased body to Washington DC and arrange to die in his office. My gift to him.
Jessica in CaliforniaMy mom would die, she has a autoimmune disease that is affecting her lungs and with the ACA she won't be able to get care and that will lead to her early demise.
Sherri in CaliforniaAs my mother approaches the time when she may need nursing home care, I worry that the cuts to Medicaid will force our family to try and take care of her at home. How will our family be able to afford care for her? How will we be able to take care of her ourselves?
Joanna in CaliforniaMy name is Joanna and I am here to share the story of my daughter Jasmine Winning. I will start at the beginning of her life, three years ago, when she was just a tiny little fetus inside my belly.
I was four months pregnant, here at UCLA, meeting with the Director of the Heart Center, when I received the most devastating and heart wrenching news. I was told that my precious little unborn child had Hypoplastic-Left Heart and Heterotaxy. I was told that she has one of the most complex and deadly medical conditions around, and when she is born she will struggle with every breath to stay alive.
I was told that she would have half of a heart with many of her organs flipped in different positions scattered across her sweet and innocent body. And then in total and complete shock with tears streaming down my face, I knew just how serious this diagnosis really was when I was given three options on how to move forward. The first, to terminate the pregnancy. The second to do compassionate care and let her die in my arms at birth with no medical intervention. And the third, to do a series of three heart surgeries starting at birth with an eventual heart transplant one day. With these three options racing through my mind, I prayed for a decision. A decision in which my baby would not have to suffer. I knew I had all the love in the world to give her with a very supportive family, but questioned the financial ability and healthcare system needed to support such a medically complex child. I was quickly reminded of the recent Obamacare legislation that would give Jasmine a chance at life. One that is hopeful and compassionate, that protects innocent children like Jasmine from being denied medical care due to preexisting heart conditions, one that refuses to put a dollar sign on her life by imposing lifetime caps, and one that would ensure Essential Health Benefits needed to keep her alive throughout the course of her medically complex life.
When Jasmine was born she struggled to stay alive. She fought her way through two open heart surgeries and spent the first 5 months of her life in the hospital.
Thank goodness for no lifetime caps, since she has surpassed over $3 million in medical bills covered by insurance with one more heart surgery and an eventual heart transplant to go.
Thank goodness for no denial of care due to pre-existing conditions as the Heterotaxy has touched almost every single one of her organs that is managed by a cardiologist for her half a heart, a pulmonologist for her two left lungs and chronic lung damage, a gastroenterologist for eating issues and mal-rotated intestines, an immunologist for extra spleens and immune issues, and a urologist for kidney stones and abnormal renal veins.
And finally, thank goodness for Essential Health Benefits that allowed me to receive proper maternity care when Jasmine was in the womb, emergency services when Jasmine almost stopped breathing and her heart rate and oxygen saturation plummeted, hospitalizations due to fevers and cardiac issues, mental health benefits when I nearly lost my mind having to watch my child nearly die one hundred times for months at a time, the prescription drug coverage that covers Jasmine's four daily medications, the rehabilitative services that has allowed Jasmine to learn to crawl and walk after spending months in a hospital bed, laboratory services that check her blood to make sure each one of her complicated organs are working properly, and preventative and pediatric services that help manage her chronic and lifelong medical conditions.
I am sharing my story today as a plea to not steal these lifelong protections away from Jasmine that were promised to her when she was in the womb. Please do not tell my child and children like her that they are too expensive, not worthy of life any longer. Please know, this is a life and death fight for me and my daughter, and I will do everything in my power to protect her and to stand up for whatever is needed to keep her alive.
Jennifer in CaliforniaACA saved our family from certain ruin.
In June 2014, I discovered I was pregnant after our first attempt! My husband and I had been married since August 2006, and had never tried for children after the 2008 recession made us financially unable to move forward with our family aspirations. I was 34 years old, and we needed to try for children or else face the possibility of not being able to expand our family. A week after our positive test, I informed my employer of our wonderful news. A week after that, I was let-go due to down-sizing. I was also, of course, let go at the end of the month, and my employer health care terminated. The cost of COBRA was prohibitively expensive and not an option. We tried to get me on my husband's employer’s plan, however that took a month. I had not yet seen a doctor and was well into my first trimester. I called everywhere. No one would see me without coverage. Fine. We waited anxiously and finally were seen August 2014. Our baby was almost recognizable he was so many months along! We rushed to get caught up on our important scans, tests, ultra-sound, blood work, etc. All these tests cost so much money. Because of the way I was treated after disclosing the pregnancy, we decided I had to change careers (from Title & Escrow to Commercial Property Management). Being on unemployment and training for a new career, I could not stop feeling dread over how much money we would owe and how we would pay. To our joy and surprise, the costs were covered because of the ACA. Our son was born as healthy as anyone could wish for. Although we are still paying the hospital back for the delivery services, we are paying. Without the ACA, not only would we be ruined financially, but I am almost certain we would have had to declare bankruptcy. To this day, I credit the ACA for saving our family every single day.
Kathy in California
Obamacare saved my life. I had health insurance. I needed brain surgery. My health insurance company keep delaying approvals for necessary MRI, and CT scans to find out what was wrong. Because they refused to pay for a CT scan that was needed to confirm a diagnosis. I had to pay for one of them out of pocket. The insurance company assigned an RN to my case to try and reduce costs.
But, because of the public pressure, when Obamacare was being drafted: my surgery was eventually approved by the insurance company in 2009.
As Congress moves forward on a path towards repealing and replacing Obamacare, it is critical that our state's communities retain access to high-quality hospital services we need and deserve. Our hospitals not only provide lifesaving care, but they are also key economic engines, providing jobs and security to the entire community.
I am deeply concerned that legislation repealing Obamacare could leave in place devastating and historic cuts to my hospital.
Please do not gut protections for those of use with pre-existing conditions. No one would choose to be sick or have a serious illness.
Please do not impose sharp premium increases to those of us that have to live with preexisting conditions or older Americans.
Do not allow insurers to charge women more than Men.
Do not eliminate services for special needs kids at schools.
Thank you for your time.
Megan in CaliforniaMy 27 year old brother received medical insurance on his own for the first time as a result of the medicaid expansion and Medi-Cal program. Two weeks after receiving his insurance card, he had a seizure and suffered a serious traumatic brain injury, rendering him unable to work. His services were covered by Medi-Cal and he received excellent care and is recovering well. I'm incredibly grateful everyday for this coverage; otherwise, he would be financially crippled and physically unwell, even though he is a healthy and well educated young man. Medicaid coverage must be protected and expanded!
Lauren in CaliforniaWhen I was a freshman in college, I donated blood to the Red Cross. A couple of weeks later, a letter from the Red Cross informed me that I had Hepatitis C -- I was 18, living away from home (clear across the country) for the first time, and I had no idea what to do or how I might have contracted the virus. After a year of seeing a specialist (which was covered by my student health care), it was determined the diagnosis was a false-positive... but every blood test since has indicated liver enzyme levels outside of normal, which means Hepatitis C will be a pre-existing condition that follows me around for the rest of my life. I just earned my PhD and I'm still looking for my first postdoctoral job, which means I'll need health care coverage until I am insured by an employer (or I'll need to count on available insurance being affordable should I go into consulting). But should Trumpcare or any version thereof pass, and the ACA be phased out, I'm screwed. I've worked hard to make good choices for my health, but now an administrative mistake that I have no control over has the potential to wreck my chances for affordable health insurance.
Laura in CaliforniaI'm 67 years old and have a monthly income of $1287.68 -- if I lose social security that would be almost half of that amount - not to mention no more health coverage. The GOP's actions are hard to believe!
Mari in CaliforniaMy son, a self employed, husband, father, employer of own father got diagnosed with cancer. If not for Medicaid expansion he would not have been able to get the treatment that helped put it into remission. But now he is a 38 year old making 75,000 a year, still supporting his household, 4 children and a wife, but now with a pre existing condition when he goes out to find insurance.
Peggy in CaliforniaI have healthcare coverage from my employer but I have two sisters and a significant other that rely on the ACA coverage. The healthcare system has been broken for a long time in this country but the ACA has been a step in the right direction for millions of people and it can be improved on, if governing parties would work together but sadly that does not seem to be the case. My sisters are not going to fare well, if ACA is repealed. I worry very much for them. One of them has a pre-existing condition ( cancer ) Repealing the ACA is just downright cruel. If the current administration had a better solution, then I would not be sending you this message... but they do not and most Americans know that they do not. We also know what their agenda is. It's is very plain to see. ( Paul Ryan ) You cannot forsake people. You must not! It's criminal!
Dina in California
- As an American Indian, I have access to an amazing health plan that has a zero deductible, no maximum and zero co-pays. It’s reasonably affordable, although the cost has escalated over the few years I’ve had it.
American Indians have a right to receive medical care under the treaties our ancestors made in exchange for land. Asking American Indians to purchase an insurance plan, however good it is, is asking them to pay the government to live up to its treaty obligations. Plus, the Indian Health Service has never been adequately funded, so the standard of care is less than that for federal prisoners.
The plan for American Indians and Alaska Natives was made possible by the permanent reauthorization of the Indian Healthcare Improvement Act under the A.C.A. Nowhere in the new bill is the I.H.I.A. mentioned, so it is like a big black hole for American Indians, and that can’t be good. I’ve gone most of my life without health insurance as a self-employed artist and writer. My insurance under the A.C.A. has allowed me to attend to lingering but minor health issues I’ve had for years. The A.C.A. saved my sister’s life in December after she suffered a brain aneurysm, providing access to excellent medical help. At 59, I’m at the age where even though I’m in excellent health now, anything can happen.
— Dina Gilio-Whitaker, San Clemente, Calif.
Kersti in California
- I am the primary caretaker for two elderly parents who are both on Medicare. I am single. I have been a self-employed photographer for the last 23 years and always had private health insurance. It was affordable until I shattered my spine in an accident in 2010 and needed major reconstructive surgery. I managed to pay ever-increasing insurance premiums until now. This year, when my premiums shot up to $1,600 a month, I had to go on Medicaid, which Republicans are threatening to cut.
In the past seven years, I have struggled to hang on to my business, gone through suicidal depression, and still have pain and permanent nerve damage. I see a pain specialist once a month and a psychiatrist every three months. Since I’ve been on Medicaid, everything has been free, though not nearly at the level of care I have been accustomed to. Instead of a regular doctor, I must go to a low-income clinic. I am 61. I have four more years to wait for Medicare. I am in limbo, and very stressed.
— Kersti Malvre, Danville, Calif.