Thu Jul 27 2017

Jessica in Illinois

I'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.

Thu Jul 27 2017

Brenda in California

Loss 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!

Thu Jul 27 2017

Jacky in Washington

I 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.

Thu Jul 27 2017

Georgia in Vermont

Twelve 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.

Thu Jul 27 2017

Jennifer in New York

My 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.

Thu Jul 27 2017

Susan in Texas

My 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.

Thu Jul 27 2017

Casey in Texas

When 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.

Thu Jul 27 2017

Heidi in New Jersey

I 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.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Beth in Tennessee

Repealing 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.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Liz in Tennessee

The 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).

Wed Jul 26 2017

Jay in Georgia

I 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.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Rick in Kentucky

I 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.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Helen in North Carolina

I 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.

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Wed Jul 26 2017

Theresa in New York

My 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.

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Wed Jul 26 2017

Nick in Texas

I 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.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Jessica in Texas

I 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.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Lora in Massachusetts

I 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.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Thea in Massachusetts

My 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.

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Wed Jul 26 2017

Pam in Massachusetts

Ten 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.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Amy in Massachusetts

A 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.

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Wed Jul 26 2017

Andrea in Massachusetts

I 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.

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Wed Jul 26 2017

S.T. in Massachusetts

At the age of fifty-seven (57) I was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation and put on several blood thinners to avoid potential blood clots. Two years later I suffered an Embolic stroke from a clot which developed in my heart. This happened even though, I was having blood tests every three weeks and was very reliable about taking my medication. As a result of the stroke I require daily medication and required physical and occupational therapy. I am quite concerned about life-time caps, the cost of medication, and the possibility that essential services will be restricted to eliminate the ongoing medical monitoring and services that I need. I also worry that I will never be able to change healthcare providers due to this pre-existing medical condition.

Please amend the Better Care Reconciliation Bill to eliminate life time 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.

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Wed Jul 26 2017

Nancer in Massachusetts

I am pretty healthy. For many years I barely used my health insurance. Until I was attacked by a dog while running, and my writing arm and hand were “partially degloved” –which is pretty terrifying when you aren’t wearing gloves. It would have been even more terrifying, if I hadn’t had insurance coverage for the three surgeries,hospitalizations, intravenous and oral medications, visiting nurses, dressing care,occupational therapy, physical therapy, and the PTSD therapy that I needed to return to work and, eventually, to running.

Please amend the BCRA to continue the requirement that insurance cover the ten essential health benefits required under the AffordableCare Act without lifetime caps or deductibles that exceed those allowed under the ACA. Health Insurance allows life to go on when something you never thought would happen occurs. It allows people to return to work and return to contributing to the economy. It prevents families from going bankrupt.

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Wed Jul 26 2017

Margaret in Massachusetts

My daughter has a job at a small company that is unable to provide health insurance for its employees. She has good insurance through Obamacare. Because the BCRA allows states to waive essential health benefits,she could potentially be one of the young people able to get insurance at a lower cost. However, she may not have coverage for pre-natal and natal services should she become pregnant. This is not a benefit to her or any children she may have.

Please amend the BCRA continue the requirementfor insurance to cover the essential health benefits.


Wed Jul 26 2017

David and Laura in Massachusetts

Our 26-year-old son had a stroke and required emergency open-heart surgery. This involved weeks of hospitalization and the intervention of world-class doctors. If we hadn’t had the option of keeping him on our health insurance policy after he graduated from college, or our health insurance policy hadn’t covered all of the 10 EssentialServices in the Affordable Care At our family would have incurred crippling debts that would have tragically affected our lives.

We urge that the BetterCare Reconciliation Act be amended to require that all 10 Essential Services mandated by the Affordable Care Act continue to be required in all BCRA insurance policies.

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Wed Jul 26 2017

Laurie in Massachusetts

My breast cancer was detected early, after I felt a lump in my armpit. I was very fortunate. I had a biopsy and then a complete mastectomy but because it was caught early I did not need radiation or chemotherapy.

Breast cancer is extremely common. About 1 in 8 women will get it. It is also the second deadliest type of cancer for women. Over 240,000 people are diagnosed with breast cancer each year and 40,000 die from it.

Many women depend upon Planned Parenthood for their breast exams. Regular breast cancer screenings and mammograms enable early detection of breast cancer and extend women’s’ lives by many years. It is unconscionable to place women’s lives at risk when breast cancer can be caught early because some people object to family planning counseling.

Please amend the BCRA to provide funding for breast exams and other non-abortion services provided by Planned Parenthood. Also, I urge that theBCRA be amended so that no one can be denied insurance or Medicaid directly or indirectly because of a pre-existing cancer condition. Children should not lose their mothers because Congress wants to give a tax cut to the wealthy.

Wed Jul 26 2017

Lydia in Massachusetts

I have fallen and needed emergency and surgical services at least three times for broken bones. I have also needed emergency services for pneumonia that I contracted ten times during a period of two years. Many costly lab tests were associated with these emergency visits. Please amend the BCRA to prevent cuts to Medicaid and private insurance services and limits.

Mon Jul 24 2017

K.C. in Massachusetts

A student of mine was watching in the 2013 Boston Marathon and was standing close to the backpack that exploded. She was able to run from the scene but one of her legs had dozens of bits of shrapnel embedded in it. It took months, many operations, and lengthy physical therapy before she could walk again.

If employers’ policies are no longer required to provide hospitalization, rehabilitation, and lab services this young woman might never have walked again.

Please amend the BCRA to be sure that these services continue to be available to Americans. If this young woman had not had the benefit of this insurance she would not have been eligible for the ten essential benefits covered by her employer and she would forever be handicapped.

Mon Jul 24 2017

Susan in Massachusetts

If reproductive and family planning services are restricted under the Better Care Reconciliation Act, more children will almost certainly be born as a result of such legislation, and they will need health care.

I request that the Senate Better Care Reconciliation Bill be amended so that all children in this country born after the passage of any health care reform act that restricts funding for family planning services, or any other legislation restricting or eliminating funding for Planned Parenthood or other organizations that offer family planning services, be fully covered for the ten essential services required by the Affordable Care Act until their 26th birthday without regard to their or their parents’ ability to pay.

Mon Jul 24 2017

Nancer in Massachusetts

My wife was diagnosed with AFIB seven years ago. Even though she was conscientiously taking her medication and having regular lab work, two years later she suffered a stroke. As a result of the stroke she requires daily medication and regular lab work, and she required physical and occupational therapy for some months after the stoke. She is now working again, but we are very worried about life-time caps,exorbitant deductibles, the cost of medication, and the possibility that essential services will be restricted to eliminate the ongoing medical monitoring, laboratory tests, medication, and the other services that she needs.

Please amend the Better Care ReconciliationBill to prohibit life-time caps on any of the 10 essential services describedin the Affordable Care Act regardless of whether they are in a base orsecondary policy and require that all employers offer all of their employeesthe broadest coverage required by any state in which they do business.

Mon Jul 24 2017

Pam in Massachusetts

A childhood friend’s first grandson was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 20 months. He lives in Denver, Colorado, but the surgeons with expertise in this kind of tumor were at Boston Children’s Hospital. His family spent two months in Boston while he underwent surgery and post-surgical treatment and rehabilitative services.

If specialty surgery, hospitalizations and post-surgical treatment and rehabilitation had not been available he might not have survived. Please amend the BCRA to preserve these as essential services that all employer –offered and individual policies must have.

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Fri Jul 21 2017

Tyger in Texas

I am a 60 year old divorced female. I'm in good health and take care of myself by eating right and getting regular exercise. Until Obamacare, I was not able to afford health insurance and could not afford annual checkups and health screenings. If Obamacare is repealed, I will again not be able to afford health insurance. I'm getting older and need to stay on top of my possibly arising health issues. I'm afraid to get screened now, because I don't want to be diagnosed with a possible pre-existing condition, which would cause me to lose my current, affordable health insurance. I'm afraid of a repeal because I would not be able to pay for my monthly premiums or my checkups. I have 5 years to go before I can get medicare. Much can happen in 5 years…

Fri Jul 21 2017

RoseAnne in Texas

My son works as a contractor and is responsible for his healthcare. He would not be able to afford care if he loses his ACA policy. The medication he relies on would beyond his reach. I don't know what he would do.

Fri Jul 21 2017

Chris in California

I 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.

Fri Jul 21 2017

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.

Fri Jul 21 2017

Claus in New Hampshire

I had a brain tumor removed in 2006. Thanks to Obamacare, I was able to switch back from a state-run high risk insurance to a regular insurance and it has made all the difference in the world. Having adequate medical coverage is not just peace of mind, but in a country like the U.S., it is also a fundamental right. If misguided politicians, who as members of an elite social class have no idea about what their disastrous decision means for people like myself, take my healthcare away, they can expect me to fight like a tiger to win it back.

Fri Jul 21 2017

John in North Carolina

Let me tell you about my patient Kyle (not his real name).

He is 43 and lives in a rural town 2 counties away from here. He is trained as a mechanic and for years maintained a steady job, which also provided him health insurance. Eleven years ago, Kyle severely injured his back at work. For red-tape reasons, he was unable to obtain workers’ compensation, and had to quit his job. His pain was so severe, even minor daily activities were excruciating. He obtained federal disability insurance, but what he wanted most was to go back to work.

During the next year or two, Kyle underwent a number of surgeries—two on his back, and two on his umbilical hernia which needed repair.

The surgeries were disastrous. Not only did his back surgeries worsen his pain, his hernia repair failed. So, eight years ago, Kyle now had both severe back pain, as well as hernia pain. Positions which made his back pain better worsened his hernia pain—and vice versa.

Kyle worked very hard in physical therapy to at least make his back pain tolerable enough to return to work. He still had severe hernia pain with certain movements which he stoically endured. He was rehired as a mechanic seven years ago.

He did well for two years. He was a hard worker and a faithful employee. He never missed work regardless of severe hernia pain and frequent back pain.

One day at the car shop, a fellow worker became enraged at Kyle. The origin of the incident is in dispute, but the co-worker tackled Kyle, who’s back slammed against a large tool box.

Both workers were immediately fired. And both lost health insurance.

Needless to say, Kyle’s back pain returned—with a vengeance. Yet at this point, no surgeon would touch his back. His general surgeon said there was nothing he could do for the failed hernia repair. Even if the doctors could help him, Kyle did not have health insurance. Although he had been on federal disability, getting it again could take years. Thus he could not have afforded surgery anyway. He could not even afford to go to a pain doctor.

Since Kyle had income for the first half of that year, he did not qualify for Medicaid. He knew a friend who is a patient of mine who referred him to my clinic. Kyle and I explored many options to get him free care, but what he really needed was back surgery by a skilled spine specialist.

Politically, Kyle leaned Republican, and was a staunch opponent of Obamacare. The only option we could find to get him covered, however, was “Obummercare” as he originally called it.

“I am not one who wants to take free stuff, Dr. Spangler. What I really want to do is get back to work,” he told me at his first visit.

Still, he did sign up for the Obamacare. Magically, his home-county surgeons and pain specialists would now see him, and we immediately set up timely appointments.

A week later, Kyle emailed me saying, “Dr. Spangler, I am having these chest pains when I walk, even a short distance. And I get short of breath too.”

I phoned him and told him to dial 911. Typically stoic, however, Kyle instead drove himself 30 minutes to our hospital.

His heart was in the throes of an attack. He was rushed to the cardiac cath lab which confirmed four blockages. The one causing his current symptoms was on the front of his heart—the so-called widow maker. He was immediately taken to the operating room and underwent coronary artery bypass grafting to those four arteries.

Due to his prior illnesses and limited mobility, he had a very rocky post-op course. During his prolonged ICU stay, it was touch and go for several days.

But he survived.

Kyle’s total hospital bill was in excess of $100,000. This would have been completely his responsibility had he not enrolled in Obamacare. The week before.

Kyle tells me “Obummercare” saved his life. Not only did it pay his hospital bills. It also helped him buy expensive prescriptions crucial to prevent recurrent blockages.

He is getting better. He had back surgery here and a long course of physical therapy—both covered by Obamacare. He is on non-addictive pain medications. He still has hernia pain which is manageable because his back pain is so much better. He has right leg weakness, and often trips when he walks.

Kyle’s home county voted overwhelming for Donald Trump. I don’t know who Kyle voted for in November, and haven’t asked.

But I do know that he feels indebted to Obamacare.

At his most recent visit, he told me—

“Dr. Spangler, I was strongly against Obamacare when it was passed. But I sure hope now that it will not be taken away.”

He has reason to be concerned. Both the House and Senate healthcare bills replacing Obamacare make major cuts to Medicaid—a program that Kyle might need in the future. Both bills exclude a set of minimum benefits (preventive medical care) which Kyle definitely will need in the future.

If Kyle loses Obamacare and does not qualify for Medicaid, it is entirely possible that he will not be able to afford ANY type of insurance. But, guess what? If his insurance lapses for 63 days, the Senate bill will not allow him to buy insurance for 6 months. Kyle could face major health care costs over 6 months if his heart gets worse.

Furthermore, the House bill allows states to do away with protection against preexisting conditions. Do any of us have confidence that our state, North Carolina, will continue such protection? Will Kyle face steep insurance costs because of his prior heart attack?

The American Medical Association, the AARP, the American Hospital Association—among many other health care organizations—strongly oppose the House and Senate healthcare bills.

My medical society, the NC Academy of Family Physicians, also opposes these bills. Indeed, the NCAFP has urged us family docs to speak out against these pieces of legislation—which is why I am writing today. We need Senators Burr and Tillis to vote against this legislation.

When Kyle signed up for Obummercare, he was so glad he did. But now, he’s worried about an even bigger bummer called Trumpcare.

Will it also be called Burrcare or Tilliscare?

Fri Jul 21 2017

Anne in New Hampshire

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my 40s. That was 15 years ago and thankfully I have not had a recurrence. I worry for myself, my sister, and my daughter, especially since my mother had it too. The ACA insured that we wouldn't be discriminated against but the GOP wants to do away with that protection.

Fri Jul 21 2017

Sally in Washington

I had no health insurance for years in my 50s and 60s because it was just too expensive. Fortunately I had been healthy. I finally qualified for the aca about 4 years ago and the relief is incredible. So far the only problem I have had is a broken foot but even that would have cost thousands of dollars. I favor single payer but in the meantime this is a lifesaver. Thank you President Obama.

Fri Jul 21 2017

Elizabeth in New Jersey

After my spouse and I graduated from graduate school we were for a brief time unemployed. At the same time, our 3 year old son was in and out of the emergency room due to heavy asthma and bronchial infections. The situation was already so stressful, but I don't know what we would have done without access to ACA insurance coverage. So many people in the U.S. find themselves in similar situations, where a loved one is sick and regular and emergency care is required. Why would we as a people add to this already difficult situation by not giving everyone the insurance needed to access health care? We need to put the health of our people ahead of profits for insurance companies.

Fri Jul 21 2017

April in Massachusetts

My husband's job was eliminated when he was 58 years old. The job market, although the law states age discrimination is illegal, does not look kindly on anyone of that age. He ended up going into an early retirement. Fortunately, living in MA, we had a strong statewide health insurance market to look to for coverage, and the ACA went into affect shortly thereafter. Our premiums were higher than when he was employed because we didn't have any employer contribution to help cover the cost. But we were able to purchase a 'gold plan' with better benefits than we had received through his employer at a cost that was manageable for us. Two years later, the premium had risen to the point where we had to reduce coverage to a silver plan to stay within our budget. But we still have good coverage that is affordable for us. If the republican plan, as currently proposed, goes into affect, we will be in the 'gap group': now aged 62, meaning too young for medicare coverage, with possible 300% premium increases, which would make coverage beyond our reach financially, and no realistic alternative to return to work to earn enough to cover the exorbitant price increase or secure an employer sponsored plan. At age 62, ones health can turn at any time…we fear our retirement years will be overtaken by fears of no access to affordable care, or bankruptcy. HEALTH CARE SHOULD BE A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT. Private, for profit, health insurance is archaic and serves the insurers ( note they build sports stadia and sponsor golf tournaments, etc. with the profits they make from insurance they sell us) while we spend wasteful amounts of money on coverage that citizens of other countries operating on a single payer/government run system receive as a basic right. It doesn't have to be this way. We must stand united and demand better: single payer insurance plans and cost controls on drugs and services, NOT gutting coverage. Thank you for reading this.

Mon Jul 17 2017

Gina in Texas

My father was a hardworking carpenter for many years. Sadly, in that trade benefits such as health insurance were not provided. Later in life, he developed heart problems which at the time, rendered him "uninsurable." As he continued to age, his heart problems became worse and required hospitalization and surgery that cost in excess of $100,000. He was uninsured. He only lived four more months and continued to incur huge medical expenses. He was unable to work, he was not eligible for Medicaid and was too young for Medicare eligibility. Had he lived, he would have been able to obtain insurance at a rate that he could have afforded. As it was, he died leaving my mother with a HUGE medical debt. This story is not only my family's, but many others throughout our country. The new healthcare plan proposed by the Senate committee would undo so many of the great things provided by the ACA. Passage of Trumpcare would devastate millions, as the CBO has indicated. We must find a way to move forward to create a bipartisan, viable solution for our country.

Mon Jul 17 2017

Barry in Texas

My first wellness checkup on January 10, 2014, my doctor said I needed to see a urologist and I was diagnosed with T-4 bladder cancer and was able to get the operation I needed to beat my cancer. I am two and one half years cancer free after chemo. The ACA gave me my first healthcare as an adult and saved me.

I have barely been able to afford my healthcare though, and with the changes that are offered I would not be able to afford healthcare.

My wish is that the US join the rest of the industrialized world and offer Medicare for all.

Timmy, age 6 (Maryland) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Timmy. Timmy is a newly minted kindergarten graduate who loves robots and pirates, plays on a local soccer team, and dreams of growing up to become a police officer, firefighter, “ambulance man,” garbage collector, or robot repairman. He is exuberant, hilarious, creative, and one of the most resilient children you will ever meet.


Carol, age 5 (North Carolina) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Carol (and her twin, Lydia).  Carol was born 3 months premature and weighed only 2 lbs. 5 oz. at birth. In addition to the many problems faced by micro-preemies (including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) like her twin sister Lydia), she was also born with congenital heart defects.


James, age 6 (California) – Little Lobbyists

Meet James.  He loves Pokémon and transformers.  He recently went on his first non-hospital trip — to Hawaii, courtesy of Make-A-Wish Foundation. James is tracheostomy and g-tube dependent with overnight ventilator use due to a rare form of dwarfism.  James will be tracheostomy and night time ventilator dependent as long as he lives.


Wed Jul 12 2017

Richard in Minnesota

We would be unable to get any health insurance for my wife.

Wed Jul 12 2017

Kathi in Washington

I have bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, and some medical conditions for which I take medication. Two of the medications I take are not available in a generic form, and they would be prohibitively expensive without insurance. I would not be able to function without medication, because I would become severely depressed and experience mood swings. I am a clinical psychologist in private practice, and I would not be able to assist my patients if I am having as much difficulty as they are. Given that I am self-employed, I have to pay expensive monthly premiums which are already difficult to afford. I am very concerned that I would not be able to afford the premiums if the ACA is dismantled. Or I would have to choose a plan with such a high deductible that I wouldn't be able to actually use the plan except in a dire emergency. I am a 62-year-old woman, and my financial status and credit rating were ruined in an abusive divorce. I do not have any savings or investments, and I feel that I must stay healthy in order to keep working as long as possible. I am very angry that the Republicans assume that people who are my age and above are inherently less healthy and therefore should have higher premiums, because my physical health is better that many people who are much younger than I am. I only hope that my health holds up, because I don't know what I will do if it doesn't. It is depressing and horrifying to see that the Republicans are willing to abandon the American people in order to please their wealthy donors. I am terrified for the many, many people who are much less fortunate than I am, and frightened about the possibility of watching the healthcare system disintegrate around us. The bill proposed by the Republicans is criminal.

Wed Jul 12 2017

Jennifer in California

ACA 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.

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Tue Jul 11 2017

Eleanor in New Mexico

I am 17 and I have 3 people I'm very close with, that have had cancer. One of them has had it twice. If the ACA hadn't been there, the one that has had cancer twice would have died sooner. But, she is still alive and as healthy as she can be. That's how they ACA has helped me and my family.

Tue Jul 11 2017

Nancy in Illinois

I am a psychologist in private practice. Although I see patients with means, I also see many indigent patients who rely on psychotherapy as a lifeline, and a whole range of patients in between. In my work as a cochair of the Psychotherapy Action Network, I am aware of the research that shows that dollars spent on psychotherapy are a wise investment from a personal, social, and economic standpoint. Yet nowhere is this point driven home more than in my day-to-day work with people. I confront, on a daily basis, the devastation that would occur in peoples lives if they lost their mental health coverage, lost the part of their mental health coverage that subsidizes psychotherapy, or lost their medical coverage entirely. A side note is that practitioners like me who treat people without funding and other social supports could not afford to practice without the AC and other insurance coverages . Our organization is working to raise consciousness on this issue, and anything we can do to add our voice to the chorus pointing out that the ACA repeal would be a huge blow to our country and its citizens we would be glad to undertake. Thanks for collecting peoples' stories, and for speaking out!

Tue Jul 11 2017

Erin in North Dakota


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Tue Jul 11 2017
My son was born with a heart defect. I don't remember much after that. I remember having to go home without my child for the first 6 days of his life. I remember bringing him home and being extremely afraid. Little did I know just how much this boy was going to go through. We had countless dr appts, I think I had read every single thing there was to read about his particular defect. We made it to age 6 before things took a turn for the worse. My son needed open heart surgery. He had his 1st OHS in Minneapolis. We were in the hospital for 6 days. We had countless follow up appointments and med managements. We traveled from minot to Fargo and Minneapolis. Fast forward 8 months. My sons condition took another turn for the worse. He had to undergo a 2nd Open heart surgery. This time we were in the hospital for 10 days. This time was different though. He had a mechanical heart valve placed into his tiny heart. This means so much more for him and us. He is now on blood thinners, we have to check his blood very frequently. This also means any sort of injury could kill my child. His life hangs in the balance every single day.

I stay at home with him and my other 2 children. I need to be close to him at all times in case I have to rush him to the ER. Therefore, I cannot work. My husband owns a small construction company. Before the ACA, my husband was paying $1300/month for health insurance. When he left that company we were finally able to participate in the ACA. We have been paying $350/month now for health insurance. Our deductible is still a little high but it's better then what it could be.

We finally don't have to panic whenever I take him to the ER not knowing if we can afford it or not. I cannot and should not have to ever think about that situation. He will have to go to the ER each and every time he gets hit or injured because of the potential to have blood clots that will kill him.

We cannot afford to get rid of the ACA and have this monstrosity of a healthcare bill passed. I will not be able to afford care for my one child, let alone my whole family. My sons 2 surgeries were over $250,000 each time. He would meet his lifetime cap before he hits puberty. Without the ACA my child will not make it. I will have to decide between food for my other children or death for my son.

Tue Jul 11 2017

Margaret in Texas

My son has multiple health problems which forces him to have jobs limited by his wellness. He is just above the poverty line and has been enrolled on the ACA for 2 years with services that have treated his existing conditions.

On April 24, 2017 he was stricken with compartment syndrome in his right leg and was rushed to surgery to open a 10 inch incision in his calf. He spent 10 days in the hospital treating the bulging infected muscle and trying to save his kidneys from toxins. He still has a 6 inch open wound which may need surgery to close after 10 weels.

The original bills without ACA will be over $60,000. His salary last year was $15,600. Without ACA he was likely to lose his leg and have to live on dialysis. Without- ACA local health providers would have to suffer the costs. Without ACA he may have delayed treatment and lost his life.

Do not repeal ACA and put Americans' lives in danger. Work with the Democrats to amend it. I will vote agsinst any legislators who vote to repeal.

Tue Jul 11 2017

Elizabeth in Texas

Loss of the protections gained by the ACA would result in severe financial difficulty for family members, a lower quality of life or even death.

Wed Jul 05 2017

Virginia in Illinois

My husband has had Preexisting conditions all his life. My employer-based coverage is a necessity, but we also want to move closer to our families. If the ACA is repealed, we'll be chained to my job, unable to take the risk of moving.

Wed Jul 05 2017

Kristin in Texas

People don't realize this, but allowing states to define their own Essential Health Benefits means employers no longer have to cover prescriptions. My ability to work and function depends on an expensive maintenance drug for an autoimmune condition I was born with. It is far more cost-effective to the state if I have medication that allows me to work, as opposed to sentencing me to permanent disability. Please keep a nationwide definition of Essential Health Benefits, so that I'm not forced to move to a blue state just to work and pay taxes.

Wed Jul 05 2017

Carlyn in Texas

The ACA allowed me to get health insurance despite having a pre-existing condition (hip replacement) after my employer insurance was terminated

Wed Jul 05 2017

Janice in Texas

I am on the board of a Child Development Center. Teachers who are taking care of our youngest children are paid so little they can barely afford to pay rent.

We have been trying to raise their pay, but also to provide them with healthcare for years. Because of the ACA we have been able for the first time to provide group healthcare for them.

Mon Jul 03 2017

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.

Mon Jul 03 2017

Jane in New York

I am self employed. My insurance became too expensive about 3 years before the aca. For those years, I lived in shame, never telling friends or family, and fear. Getting ocare was an immense blessing and relief. I need ocare!

Mon Jul 03 2017

Amanda in New York

I am a freelance writer who is hoping to become a dog trainer. It has been incredibly difficult as an older Millennial to find a well-paying full-time job. No one wants to train employees anymore; they all want "experience." I have seven years of writing and editing experience yet I still can't find a stable full-time job. I don't make much as a freelance writer because no one wants to pay a living wage or they just want free work, which is why I am studying to become a dog trainer and if it wasn't for the Medicaid expansion in NYC, I would be unable to afford health insurance. I suffer from Pre-Menstrual Dysphoric Disorder, hearing loss and migraines. I need my birth control pills to keep my PMDD in check and i am terrified of what will happen if the ACA is repealed. My boyfriend is also having a hard time finding a stable full-time job and he was born with hip dysplasia. He needs a very expensive surgery to correct it, so for now he walks with a cane and takes medication to stop the spread of osteoarthritis. The ACA needs to be saved so that people like my boyfriend and I don't have to live in pain or struggle to survive.

Mon Jul 03 2017

Jorika in Vermont

My husband and I are both self-employed and purchase insurance through the ACA. Our premiums would increase by $590/month if it was repealed, possibly even more with the proposed bill. At ages 56 and 60 and with pre-existing conditions, we would not be able to afford anything other than catastrophic insurance, which means we would not visit doctors except in case of emergencies. Our health would suffer with lack of care (especially concerned about my husband's history of heart problems). Essentially this means we would wait for the heart attack rather than try to prevent it. Also, our children are currently on our state's medicaid for minors program, and we have no idea how this would change but it would probably mean they would no longer qualify. So, our whole family is at risk of losing healthcare without the ACA or medicare for all.

Mon Jul 03 2017

Stephanie in Vermont

I have a 14 year old son with a severe congenital heart defect, epilepsy, and autism. He has had 4 heart surgeries to date and will need more throughout his lifetime. He is stable and healthy now thanks to the health care he has received.

He was born before the ACA. When he was born, we had private insurance. While we were prepping for his first surgery at 10 days old our insurance adjuster told my husband that our baby would hit the lifetime cap by age 15 so we had better start saving now. I'm attaching a copy of his most recent surgery bill. I'm not sure how any middle class family could ever be expected to save up for a $125,000 hospital bill for ONE surgery.

The prospect of going without insurance for even a short period was terrifying – before the ACA, we knew we could be denied coverage. With the ACA, we know that our son will not have to worry about having his life saving surgeries covered. He will be able to pursue college and a career. We will not go bankrupt or lose our house trying to pay for life saving treatment.

He is almost 15 now, and near that prior lifetime cap. We desperately urge the senate not to pass any legislation that ends protections for the millions of people like our son.

Mon Jul 03 2017

Billie in Pennsylvania

ACA will affect me and my mother. My mother is 90 in July and I turn 57 this year. I am disabled due to a surgical error when having a hip replaced and my mom has Alzheimer's disease and lives in a secure section of a local nursing home. Moms savings are almost depleted and I am unable to work now and receive disability. I want to return to work but am unable to work full time in my career field. I have worked as a mental health therapist for many years and since the surgical issue I have to take a lot of medication to be able to walk without crutches or canes. The medication makes my memory and processing abilities weak and if I stop taking it then I have to use crutches/canes to ambulate. What am I to do? What is my mother to do?

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Mon Jul 03 2017

Cindy in Austin


Cindy in Austin

Cindy in Austin


Wed Jun 28 2017

Lucy in Texas


Lucy in Manchaca

Lucy in Manchaca


Mon Jul 03 2017

Noel in Texas


Noel in Austin

Noel in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

G in Texas


G in Manchaca

G in Manchaca


Mon Jul 03 2017

Anne in Texas


Anne in Austin

Anne in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Liz in Texas


Liz in Austin

Liz in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Eddie in Texas


Eddie in Austin

Eddie in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Lucy in Texas


Lucy in Manchaca

Lucy in Manchaca


Mon Jul 03 2017

Jennifer in Texas


Jennifer in Austin

Jennifer in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Michael in Texas


Michael in Pflugerville

Michael in Pflugerville


Mon Jul 03 2017

Ivy in Texas


Ivy in Austin

Ivy in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Sam in Texas


Sam in Austin

Sam in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Anonymous in Texas


Anonymous in Austin

Anonymous in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Craig in Texas


Craig in Austin

Craig in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Lora in Texas


Lora in Austin

Lora in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Julie in Texas


Julie in Austin

Julie in Austin


Mon Jul 03 2017

Michael in Texas


Michael in Austin

Michael in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Roseanna in Texas

This is the letter I emailed Senators Cornyn and Cruz.

I do not understand why you are not working to expand and improve what is in place. I simply do not trust the motives of Republicans after Texas Republicans refused to accept Medicaid expansion funds. Do you understand what this looked like to a normal citizen? Let me explain. I am a single mother. My son, luckily, is covered by Medicaid, which is a wonderful, seamless program that seeks to prevent illness with regular checkups and safety gear and education. I have been working since age 13 and decided to pursue a nursing career at age 32. I moved in with my parents, found grants to help with childcare and school expenses and was accepted into an RN program. A huge hurdle presented itself- I needed health insurance to attend. I could only work part time, my school's insurance option was too expensive (over $800 for 4 months) and so I went to the Marketplace to find ACA insurance. My income was around $15000. When I plugged the numbers in I thought there was a mistake. How could my premiums be over $300 for the cheap plan? I called a broker. "Yes, you don't make enough for the subsidy" "Excuse me, I don't make ENOUGH?" "Right, if you make $15,600 you would pay under $50 for health insurance through the marketplace. Because you made $600 less you pay full price."

Do you understand how INSANE this is? And for what? To really stick it to Democrats? You're playing with people's LIVES.

And now I'm a Registered Nurse, as of a week ago (Yay!!) My old waitressing job did me a favor and let me clean their office in exchange for health insurance. They really didn't have to do that. I shouldn't have had to ask for a favor. I start my new job as a nurse in a busy Emergency Room next week. How many preventable illnesses will I encounter? How many strep throats, staph infections, migraines will clog the waiting room because they can't afford to go to a regular doctor? Luckily my son and I will receive great insurance through the behemoth hospital organization I am employed by but we are lucky. Not more moral, or harder working. We are lucky.

Not to mention Planned Parenthood… I never experienced an unwanted pregnancy because I received the education and tools to prevent one through PP. Also- I have multiple friends who had cervical cancer caught early through routine, affordable Pap smears at PP.

Please please consider reversing your vote. We must care for our brothers and sisters. God asks us to. When we treat everyone like they deserve health and happiness they start acting like it.

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Fri Jun 30 2017

Lorraine in Colorado

It would leave our family vulnerable to a financial exposure that could devastate our finances. We are self-employed and having the ACA gave us a great deal of peace of mind that we could self-insure at the lower ends but have peace of mind at the higher ends of insurance. We also have two college age students who we want to keep on our plan as well has coverage for any pre-existing conditions. My husband is 63 and I'm 53 and we are feeling very vulnerable and exposed with the changes being made to the ACA. We acknowledge the increase in premiums has been a challenge for families, but we need to work with what we have and not leave millions of Americans exposed to deep financial hardship due to the loss of coverage.

Fri Jun 30 2017

Nicholas in New York

Everyone needs coverage to stay healthy. Rich people don't appreciate this as much because they don't need as much assistance.

Fri Jun 30 2017

Charla in Texas

I'm 69 years old and never had insurance until I turned 65 years old and got on Medicare. I was SO relieved. Medicare should start at age 25. It's so worrisome to be afraid some medical emergency or catastrophe will wipe out everything you have. Let's join civilized, rich countries that can afford to invest in the health and wellbeing of their people. Take some of the military spending on arms and put into to peoples arms and other parts.

charla's farewell

charla’s farewell


Fri Jun 30 2017

Sami in Texas


ACA Story from Sami in Austin

ACA Story from Sami in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Charles in Texas


ACA Story from Charles in Austin

ACA Story from Charles in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Joyce in Texas


ACA Story from Joyce in Austin

ACA Story from Joyce in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Sarah in Texas


ACA Story from Sarah in Cedar Park

ACA Story from Sarah in Cedar Park


Fri Jun 30 2017

Susan in Texas


ACA Story from  Susan in Austin

ACA Story from Susan in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Stephanie in Texas


ACA Story from Stephanie in Austin

ACA Story from Stephanie in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Doris in Texas


ACA Story from Doris in Austin

ACA Story from Doris in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Eleanor in Texas


ACA Story from Eleanor in Austin

ACA Story from Eleanor in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Shane in Texas


ACA Story from Shane in Austin

ACA Story from Shane in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Christian in Texas


ACA Story from Christian in Austin

ACA Story from Christian in Austin


Fri Jun 30 2017

Hope in Texas


ACA Story from Hope in Austin part 1

ACA Story from Hope in Austin part 1


ACA Story from Hope in Austin Part 2

ACA Story from Hope in Austin Part 2


Fri Jun 30 2017

Coral in Texas


ACA Story from Coral in Austin

ACA Story from Coral in Austin


Wed Jun 28 2017

Laura in California

I'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!

Wed Jun 28 2017

Susan in Maryland

I am an American citizen who has been resident in Canada these past 20 years. Nonetheless, I have become so deeply concerned about my homeland, specifically as regards the attempt to withdraw quality medical coverage for Americans (and while doing so give tax relief to a portion of the population that least needs it) and also concerned that actions by the current administration and some members of Congress express a gross disregard for the foundation of our democracy, i.e., the U.S. Constitution.

I have emailed two letters to every Republican member of the Senate–as well as to my own Democrat Senator, Ben Cardin–pleading with the Senate to not repeal or weaken the ACA. After these two successful transmissions I have recently found that the Senate's websites will no longer accept copy and pasted text. This means that a concerned citizen has to hand type dozens of times a well though-out letter on a given topic. I assume from this change to the Senate's website that Republican Senators are now not only afraid to meet their own constituents in their home districts at town meetings, but that many other Americans have been doing what I have been doing, i.e., availing myself of the Senate's website to place reasoned arguments before Republican Senators. It is impossible to get through to House members, as their sites reject any zip code that is not within their constituency. My thought on this is that if a Senator or House member can vote on something that will effect my nation's present, near, and long-standing future their responsibility to hear input is likewise nationwide. I'd appreciate anything you can do with others to open up these lines of communication between Americans and their elected representatives.

As regards the ACA, I would like the following remarks I have excerpted from one of my first two letters sent to all Republican Senators to be read on the floor of the Senate:

"The active endeavor to remove access to the same high quality of health care to all Americans, is, frankly, depraved. Basing access to a single high quality of health care on ability to pay premiums and co-payments is intentional genocide based on income. Yet they are expected to pay their income taxes? It is no exaggeration to say that repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a stage prop that does not serve the need of the American people is, frankly, genocide based on income., It is nothing less.

I am an American citizen resident in Canada for a little over 20 years. Had I remained resident in the U.S. with my four chronic health conditions–rather than moving to Canada some 20 years ago–my fellow countrymen would simply have kicked me to the curb like so much rubbish as my back collapsed and rheumatoid arthritis came on. Being a dual citizen saved my life."

Please don't abandon other Americans.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Tim in Montana

It would prevent me from getting affordable health care coverage. ACA allowed me to receive affordable health care coverage for the first time in my life. I am in my late 50's and will not be able to afford insurance otherwise and will need access to medicare in the not too distant future, so cuts to medicare and medicaid will have a very adverse effect on my life and health in the future. Rather than looking out for the best interests of its citizens, I feel like the I need protection from the present administration's harmful legislation interests of benefiting the wealthy elite at the expense of the ordinary person. Government of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich while less well to do citizens suffer the consequences at the most precious of costs: their health. Why don't we take away the comfortable health insurance plans of all congress members and see how they feel about losing healthcare firsthand…they might sing a different tune with a new perspective after walking in someone else's shoes.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Lisa in Florida

I have Colon Polyps last Colonoscope I had 12 removed 4 of which were flat (those are the Bad one's) very likely to turn into Cancer, My hope is if I can keep these out of my colon maybe they will stop growing, If I lose Health Care ACA I stand a good chance of ending up with Cancer. If you have ever had a Doctor tell you. your on the verge of developing cancer, you have no Idea of what scared is. I am 62 yrs old my Premiums are $108 co-pay 0 PCP $30 Specialist 0 deductable Bronze plan Molina, at my age I will be priced out with TRUMPCARE

Wed Jun 28 2017

Peggy in California

I 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!

Wed Jun 28 2017

Tiffany in Texas

Notice: Writing is not my wheelhouse so I apologize in advance for any grammar or spelling errors I may not catch. But the healthcare issue is an important one for me so I’d like to get this story out there if it will help at all.

A little bit about me. I am 41 years old. I have been diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, OCD, Hypothyroidism, and Celiac Disease. With access to medication, routine blood tests, and a strict diet I can function as a normal, responsible adult and expect to live a normal and relatively happy life. Without that access the world collapses around me and I don’t function at all.

I’ve been jobless twice. First time was pre-ACA (pre-Obamacare). During that time I could not afford COBRA, could not afford my medication, and was turned down 3 time for healthcare coverage because healthcare companies wouldn’t willingly help anybody with a mental health disorder. It was a very miserable time in my life.

The second time I lost my job I was post-ACA. I called I got insurance and because I had no current income other than un-employment I was able to get a rate that I could reasonably afford if I planned carefully. It was like a dream come true. Finally, I was seen as equal to someone with diabetes or a blood disorder. I wasn’t shunned because I have a chemical imbalance in my brain I didn’t ask for.

Okay, enough back story. That was all about me. The real story here is my adorable, lovable, sweet, gifted 11 year old son. We had him tested and his talent for pattern recognition, computers, coding, and math is off the charts. He wants to build robots and computer programs that will help people. His current dream is to help the medical industry build some sort of nano-bot that can be injected into people with Celiac Disease. The bot would find and attach itself to Gluten in the body and render it harmless. Like, I said he’s a sweet child who really cares about other people.

In school, we had been having increasing problems with his behavior and actions. He was having increasing occurrences of meltdowns and explosions at school that were verging on becoming serious. Also, he takes everything to heart, so he was (and still is) a perfect target for bullies. Many days he would come home crying because someone said something mean to him.

Finally, in 4th grade we took him to a specialist to have him tested. The results were clear he had severe Anxiety, ADD, and emerging OCD behavior. We made the difficult choice of putting him on medication to help give him the very best chance we could for him to succeed in life.

He has now been on daily medication for over a year. The difference are night and day. While we still have some problems to overcome. The medicine helps give him a better baseline so he can think logically and overcome hurdles by thinking and reasoning instead of just reacting emotionally.

This diagnosis is not his fault, it’s genetics. He was born with these genes. We’ve taught him that taking medication in no way makes him less of a person. It does make him weak. It does not make him pitiful. He should hide who and what he is. This is not something the world (or Trumpcare) should not be able to take away from him. What is wrong in me wanting to do everything in my power to help my give my child the best life I can?

This brings me to worst case scenario fear that haunts me every day (more since the possibility of Trumpcare became a very real threat). With these types of mental disorders, suicide is a very real concern. I know this because I’ve struggled with thoughts of suicide my entire life. I have never told anybody about this up until today.

In the past 3 years at my son’s school there have been 3 suicides. I see stories in the news of bullied kids killing themselves because they feel hopeless and see no other way out. Each day I try to emphasize to my son that I love him regardless of who or what he is. That he should never think he is worthless and that there is no point in going on with his life. This is not a conversation I should have to have with my 11 year old son. But I feel if don’t do my best everyday, I will lose him one day to suicide. No mother should have to outlive their child.

Obamacare literally save my life and my son’s. The ACA made it so that healthcare couldn’t deny because our brains don’t work right. Trump and the republicans want to take that away from us.

Thank for taking the time to read my story. Please fight for the right to affordable healthcare for those who can’t. For the sick, for young, for the old. For everyone (even those that are currently trying to take it away from you).

I am logging a lot of sleepless hours right now. I suspect I am not alone. When I can't sleep, I @botresist. And tweet, obviously. #resist https://t.co/8gfrjUOOWe

I am logging a lot of sleepless hours right now. I suspect I am not alone. When I can’t sleep, I @botresist. And tweet, obviously. #resist https://t.co/8gfrjUOOWe


Wed Jun 28 2017

Sarah in Wisconsin

Opinion | If We Lose Our Health Care …

We asked Times readers how the Republican bill would affect them. Here are a few of their stories.


Wed Jun 28 2017
Working as an emergency physician for 20 years has allowed me to see the wax and wane of coverage and use of the emergency department. I practice in the Rust Belt. We see the same uninsured patients regularly. The emergency department is required by law to see all patients regardless of their ability to pay. It is not the place to go for long-term or primary care, but without a modicum of coverage, most of these patients cannot obtain medications and adequate health care.

At least as it applies to primary care, the A.C.A. has opened doors to obtaining preventive medical treatment. Repeal of the law would most certainly reverse the financial incentive patients have to seek care for chronic conditions outside the emergency room.
— Sarah Silver, Madison, Wis.


Wed Jun 28 2017

Dina in California

Opinion | If We Lose Our Health Care …

We asked Times readers how the Republican bill would affect them. Here are a few of their stories.


Wed Jun 28 2017
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.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Kathleen in Hawaii

Opinion | If We Lose Our Health Care …

We asked Times readers how the Republican bill would affect them. Here are a few of their stories.


Wed Jun 28 2017
My husband and I live in Hawaii and have owned and operated a business for over 25 years. We have always been required to offer our employees health insurance. In the beginning, it was affordable, and we were proud to be able to offer it. As years went by, it got more expensive and harder to afford, especially after my healthy husband contracted a rare infection that hospitalized him for two months.

Two years ago, under Obamacare, we finally found an affordable, decent health plan for ourselves and our employees. Now, I am extremely worried about how the insurance industry here will react to this irresponsible Republican plan. As a small-business owner, I’m going to have to spend way more time figuring out what this means than those who actually voted for it.

Kathleen Pickett, Kilauea, Hawaii

Wed Jun 28 2017

Natarsha in New York

Opinion | If We Lose Our Health Care …

We asked Times readers how the Republican bill would affect them. Here are a few of their stories.


Wed Jun 28 2017
I am a cancer survivor. My journey began with an early screening at Planned Parenthood in 2008, after which I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I get follow-up testing every year to ensure that I remain healthy, and alive, so the A.C.A. is crucial for me. My sister is also a breast cancer survivor, and she relies on Medicaid to take care of herself and her three children. My mother has a chronic illness. My health and the health of those closest to me will be in great jeopardy if the A.C.A. is repealed.
— Natarsha McQueen, Brooklyn

Wed Jun 28 2017

James in Colorado

Opinion | If We Lose Our Health Care …

We asked Times readers how the Republican bill would affect them. Here are a few of their stories.


Wed Jun 28 2017
I will die without the A.C.A. I am a single, 60-year-old man. In January 2016, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 colorectal cancer that had metastasized to my liver. I have been infused with four chemotherapy drugs 19 times, and 10 times with three drugs, for a total of 29 treatments.

Initially, I was in the hospital for two days for a colonoscopy, a PET scan and numerous blood tests. Since then, I’ve had two more PET scans, roughly 200 blood tests, numerous urine tests and oncologist visits. The total cost for all of this has exceeded $300,000. Luckily and thankfully, because of the A.C.A., my out-of-pocket costs were just $2,250 for 2016 and $2,450 for 2017. Without the A.C.A., I would be bankrupt and homeless.
James Panagoulias, Westminster, Colo.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Katie in Texas

Health Care Protest at Ted Cruz’s Office – 12 of 14 – Photos – The Austin Chronicle

On Thursday afternoon, over forty people gathered outside Ted Cruz’s office to share their stories and rally against the repeal of the ACA and the proposed Senate health bill that would decimate coverage for many of the most vulnerable Americans.


Wed Jun 28 2017
"I'm starting medical school on Monday at Dell Medical School, and I'm a supporter of the ACA because I think it will allow me to treat my patients better, it will allow patients to not worry about coming in to see a doctor because of a fear of medical expenses, and it will allow more people to get good medical care without becoming impoverished and fighting bankruptcy. I'm about to spend a lot of time studying medicine and learning how to treat people, and I don't want my patients to have more obstacles to obtaining the care they need, especially monetary ones. Given how many resources are available in America, its unconscionable that people in our society dont get health care because they lack the money." – Katie McNiel

Wed Jun 28 2017

Julie and Ryan in Texas

Health Care Protest at Ted Cruz’s Office – 11 of 14 – Photos – The Austin Chronicle

On Thursday afternoon, over forty people gathered outside Ted Cruz’s office to share their stories and rally against the repeal of the ACA and the proposed Senate health bill that would decimate coverage for many of the most vulnerable Americans.


Wed Jun 28 2017
"I remember from before the ACA how difficult it was to get individual insurance. When I turned 24 and was kicked off my parent's plan, I got rejected from multiple healthcare companies because I had lost 50 pounds of weight under a doctor's supervision and also had childhood asthma. It was really arbitrary what they could deny you coverage for, and it took me forever to find a plan that would actually cover me. I priced out plans that covered preexisting conditions, and a plan would have been 800 bucks a month. I was a 24-year-old with asthma. I only went to the doctor's once a year for a check-up. We're worried that if this new law passes we won't be able to buy individual insurance, that it will again be astronomically expensive and out of reach to so many people, especially if they can deny you for things as common as asthma." – Julie Gilberg

"I work in the video game industry, and an awful lot of people in Austin work in video games and film, which means an awful lot of us are freelancers. You can make a good living off of it, but you're on your own for health insurance. It's been possible because of the ACA, but if the ACA goes away, a lot of people in the industry would have to leave Austin or find new jobs because they can't buy individual plans. It's an international industry. The freelance game industry in Austin is bidding against the industries in Europe and around the world. Most of them don't have to pay for individual health insurance, which puts us at a disadvantage." – Ryan Clark

Health Care Protest at Ted Cruz’s Office – 10 of 14 – Photos – The Austin Chronicle

On Thursday afternoon, over forty people gathered outside Ted Cruz’s office to share their stories and rally against the repeal of the ACA and the proposed Senate health bill that would decimate coverage for many of the most vulnerable Americans.


Wed Jun 28 2017
Making a quick stop at a coffee shop on the way to protest, a woman gathered letters from other customers who wanted to add in their voices after hearing she was taking her concerns to Cruz.

Wed Jun 28 2017

Sara in Texas

Health Care Protest at Ted Cruz’s Office – 8 of 14 – Photos – The Austin Chronicle

On Thursday afternoon, over forty people gathered outside Ted Cruz’s office to share their stories and rally against the repeal of the ACA and the proposed Senate health bill that would decimate coverage for many of the most vulnerable Americans.


Wed Jun 28 2017
"These are the very people that are supposed to represent us, and they're not representing us, they're not caring about what we care about. They just care about the money and political theatre of it. So I come down here, and I make my calls and stand in the heat and do my part. I keep thinking of that Kate McKinnon bit as Hillary on SNL where she sings "Hallelujah" and turns to the camera and says 'I'm not going to give up and neither should you.'" – Sara Higginbotham

Wed Jun 28 2017

Leah and Maureen in Texas


Wed Jun 28 2017
"I just realized this summer that I haven't had a depressive episode in a year, which is really amazing for me. I have a really strong support system with my therapist and psychiatrist, and I'm currently able to see them as much as I need. It's terrifying to think that I could stop receiving that care, or might get put in a high-risk pool or hit a lifetime cap." – Leah Markov-Lindsey

"As even our President said, this is a matter of human decency. And even if you're not directly touched, this is about what we want for our community, what we want for our country, and how to help each other lead our best lives." – Maureen Mercado

Wed Jun 28 2017

Lucy in Texas

Health Care Protest at Ted Cruz’s Office – 6 of 14 – Photos – The Austin Chronicle

On Thursday afternoon, over forty people gathered outside Ted Cruz’s office to share their stories and rally against the repeal of the ACA and the proposed Senate health bill that would decimate coverage for many of the most vulnerable Americans.


Wed Jun 28 2017
"Many of my family and friends, sadly, suffer from mental illness and addiction. I'm standing out here for so many people out there who can't or won't stick up for themselves. They're getting care or they need care, and if we let them all fall between the cracks and into the gutter… I can't let that happen, so I stand here for them." – Lucy Sanchez

Tue Jun 27 2017

Janice in Montana

This would completely affect my life. I have been proud to say that I have been using the ACA since 2013. I am 64 years old and will be one of the millions who will lose our insurance. Why should I when all our representatives have health insurance paid for by tax payers. This bill Trump Care is the worst thing that the Republicans can ever try to pass. Not only is it 'MEAN' it is something we must not let pass. Please stand together with me to fight for all of us to have affordable health care.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Delana in New Mexico

Before being a Union member I qualified for Medicaid when I got Pregnant with my son. Infact I used Planned Parenthood and the Emergency Room prior to Medicaid. But obviously when I got pregnant I didn't know how I would afford to have my baby. I called PP and they told me to see if I qualified for Medicaid. That was music to my ears and should also be to all you Pro-life crowd too. Medicaid and the always helpful Planned Parenthood helped me have a Healthy Baby Boy.

Years later I found a lump in my breast and went backed to Planned Parenthood. They helped me find the help I needed to get a mammogram.

Now I am a Union worker and get Medical through them but a friend of mine also in the Union found cheaper care through the exchange and he needed it because at 36 was diagnosed with Cancer.

My other friend was born with Spina bifida. She had numerous surgeries as a child but lives with life long health issues and is unable to work more than part time due to deterioration. As an adult her Dr. mom and Lawyer dad no longer support her or pay her health care. Prior to ACA she had a very bleak future. With ACA her life opened up.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Ruth in Ohio

A very good friend of mine just had back surgery because she cannot be sure that she will be eligible for medical insurance under the proposed new health care plan. She has a rare disease that is passed down from her Mother called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. Her muscles are very weak and her bones are brittle and it gets worse with age. For almost 30 years she always worked, made good money, bought a house, paid taxes, even with her severe pain. Now her back bones are fragile and need to be fused and she just had the surgery. We are so grateful that she got in under the line and that it seems to have been successful. As an RN I wonder why my good friend has to worry about having health care. I feel that everyone deserves to have adequate healthcare much like we deserve police and fire protection. Maybe each state could try out the single payer program and see how it works.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Jessica in Pennsylvania

ACA repeal would leave my family of 6, 2 parents and 4 sons, with mountains of medical bills and thousands of dollars of prescription drugs that we just could not afford. I myself was able to have a lifesaving surgery last year because of my ACA coverage,. My 11yr old son has anxiety disorder, ADHD, and an Autism diagnosis that is all taken care of bc of the ACA coverage we have. My 9yr old son was born with a heart condition that was not discovered until last year, but without ACA, he wouldn't have any coverage for his daily meds or treatments. My husband is diabetic, hypertensive, and has anxiety. My 18 and 14yr olds both have ADHD. We are all here today, and doing as well as we are because of the ACA. Please don't take that from the hardworking Americans who put you into office.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Andrea in Alabama

I am a counselor who works with the mentally ill and substance abuse population. These people would go completely untreated if this horrible bill passes. Not only that, but I would have to close my practice. I just eek by as it is on insurance payments to me from companies who want me to wait up to three months to be paid for services delivered to clients in desperate need of care. This bill would mean that I would have to close my practice–which would be a loss of income for my family. Not only that, but hospitals and other treatment organizations will also close as a result of this horrible plan. This means that it will change the economy of the entire nation. But that's not the only effect it will have on me. I am 65 years old. Which means that I will have to pay far more than everyone else for my premiums. So now I will lose my job, and still have to pay more for premiums, which means that I will not be able to afford them–and I will cancel my insurance. This means that if I become ill I am not likely to seek care, and I could become very ill or even die. So, now, a valuable service that I deliver with integrity and compassion will be put out of business. The people that I serve will be harmed and may commit suicide because their services are stopped. And I will not be allowed insurance which means I could die. Tell me, please, how you can possibly call this health"care". It isn't care at all. It is irresponsible, loose cannon politics.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Jennifer in Oregon

Before the ACA was enacted, we relocated to Scotland for a job within the company my husband worked for. We did this to escape the 2008 crash.

Our oldest son stopped breathing to all animal products in any amount baked into any food. Casein, whey, protein hydrolosate…you name it. He had been rushed to the ER on more than one occasion with us all praying for his life.

While in Scotland, the US insurance companies would not insure our son if we returned. He had a pre existing, life threatening condition without documented prior coverage by another US insurance company during our Scottish tenure.

When the ACA was enacted, my family relocated back to the states. My husband is a chemical physicist in sales. His sales bring in over 15 million a year into the US economy. If he doesn't hit this number, he is out of a job as are a number of workers in production plants in the U.S.

Without ACA, the US would have lost the money he brings in to keep our economy going. And, a really great family too.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Susan in Texas

I have a chronic illness and was without health care for over ten years because of being denied coverage for a pre-existing condition. Because of my illness, I was only able to work part-time and so did not have employer health coverage. Under the ACA, I was finally able to get health coverage. The premiums are very reasonable because I am low income. Because I am in my late fifties and have a pre-existing condition, my premiums would most likely increase a huge amount under the Senate health bill. I would not be able to afford coverage and that is very scary. It is also cruel to charge a penalty to people who have a gap in coverage because they can't afford it. Those who are struggling the most financially pay an additional penalty when they try to get re-covered.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Sarah in California

Both of my young adult sons have health care coverage thanks to the ACA. Both have preexisting conditions which, although not impacting their day-to-day health, made obtaining insurance pre-ACA cost prohibitive. Both are also low income – one operating a small business and the other working his way through college with the aim of becoming a teacher.

Without access to affordable health care insurance, they would be risking losing everything should a disease flare up.
With health care access, they are low-cost patients, with health issues well controlled, and able to work hard to better their lives…and ours.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Matthew in California

Our daughter was born premature at 31 weeks, and was in the NICU for 53 days. If life-time limits on care are reinstated, she could be kicked off insurance as a now-healthy 2-year old so that an insurance company doesn't have to risk losing profitability.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Robin in Texas

I am 61. Former school teacher. My mother passed in February and I now take care of my father after helping both parents for eight years. Daddy has high blood pressure, a pacemaker, and a rod in one leg after breaking it last year. I am in good health but I do have to take Paroxetine for clinical depression which was diagnosed when I was 19. I have insurance through the ACA through Molina Healthcare. I pay $8 and change per month. My prescription is $2 per month. I have a wonderful doctor. I am not able to work much because I help Daddy so much – cooking, cleaning, laundry, yardwork, etc. He drives but I'm not sure how much longer he will be able to do that. If I lose my healthcare, I'm not sure what will happen to us. I have no siblings nor does Daddy. I realize that we are fortunate compared to many, many people, but this is our reality. We have both worked for most of our life and I don't think I am asking too much. Don't take away my healthcare.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Karen in Georgia

I don't have any pictures of adorable kids, as a woman I was too busy working 90 hours a week to compete with my make peers so I had no time for family or much else. After years, I achieved VP status in a small startup. When my Dad got terminally ill, I left my job to care for him (FMLA excluded me). My dad passed away & my COBRA ran out and a couple of months later, mere weeks before starting a new job, I got a cancer diagnosis. I'd had nagging pain for a couple of months but wanted to wait until the insurance kicked in with my new job. Mistake. My cancer was stage 3B, a massive tumor.

I'd done all the right things, I was a healthy fit 49 year old athlete, paid my taxes, saved money, invested, had 401k. IRA, I'm even a USAF veteran but that wasn't enough to get me treatment without insurance. Duke & Emory both refused me appointments, I had too much in assets for VA or medicaid so even the Atlanta General wasn't an option except for ER care, and they don't do surgery, chemo or radiation in the ER. I had only a couple of months to live without treatment. I went to Canada, where my fiance lived and was able to get treated, though it cost me over 250K AND a payment plan for the rest. I lost all my retirement, savings & home. I never wanted to leave home for treatment but even had I found a provider the 2 surgeries, 33 rounds of radiation, 14 days of chemo, CT scans, MRIs, biopsies, hospital, lab work, medications, colostomy supplies would have cost me at least 4 times as much.

I was lucky, I had the resources and credit to get care, which quite literally saved my life. My oncologist calls me her "miracle patient". If I'd had insurance, it might have been caught at an early stage. If I'd had insurance I'd still have savings, I'd still have hope for retirement. I'm broke but alive, and I'm the lucky one. I know that. No one should have to face death or bankruptcy, no one should suffer the incredible stress of financial devastation while fighting for their very lives. Lack of insurance took me from being an american success story, a tax payer in the highest bracket to being broke and possibly uninsurable again. My biggest fear is a recurrence (70% chance) not having insurance. Next time, I'll surely die since all of my assets are gone.

Getting sick should not be a crime and it shouldn't be punishable by death.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Karen in Texas

I take good care of myself – I have never smoked or used drugs and I don't drink alcohol. My BMI has always been in the normal range. I exercise 3-5x per week and eat healthily.

I have pre-existing conditions. I had gestational diabetes. I was born with eye muscle issues and severe allergies. I've had multiple precancerous moles removed.

The ACA gives my family economic freedom. It meant that my husband could quit work and be a full-time student AND, at the same time, I could quit a job that was literally causing me severe health issues due to stress and take a contract job that I enjoy. We have the flexibility to be home more with our young children, so they don't need to go to day care. Without affordable insurance on the exchanges, this would not have been possible.

We save diligently. We plan to retire from the corporate world before 55 and possibly purchase a small business.

This is only possible for us if:
a) people between 50-65 aren't charged astronomical premiums
b1) people with pre-existing conditions aren't charged astronomical premiums
b2) people with pre-existing conditions aren't denied insurance outright
c) policies actually cover potential health conditions
d) deductibles aren't tens of thousands of dollars per year

The Senate plan will mean we don't retire early. We'll be taking jobs from younger people who might want them. It means we don't start a small business and potentially employ others. It likely means I have to find a new job that provides health insurance and my kids go to day care.

This is not life and death for my family – not yet. We are lucky. It does take away our economic freedom.

Tue Jun 27 2017

Jan in Texas

I'm 62 , recently 'retired' from oil industry. My healthcare would escalate radically in cost– and my Medicare and SicialSecurity are likely threatened too, collapsing basic retirement plans it took 35 years to build. So many preexisting conditions we are all disqualified for coverage in something –despite being basically healthy and living responsibly.

2 out of 7 of family children can't find work and are no longer covered by parents insurance. One niece severely debilitated by unknown disease but covered at least.

my wonderful brother in law with MS will lose affordable coverage. He is basically finally well again–due to expensive medications and coverage under ACA/ Medicaid after a horrific decade of suffering for their immediate family before ACA

Tue Jun 27 2017

Lily in Texas

I'm 28, and I've struggled with mental illness (OCD and depression) since early adolescence. I currently get my insurance through the ACA, and I'm concerned that I may be priced out if the law is repealed and an insurance company decides to raise my rates on the grounds that I might pose, say, a suicide risk. Since I have in fact had suicidal thoughts in the past when I was off of medication or out of therapy, stripping away essential health benefits or hiking premiums has the potential to completely ruin my life.

Mon Jun 26 2017

Gray in Texas

I'm attaching a picture of my mother (and my brother) from December 25, 2015. My Mom, marathon runner, who biked across Kansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Wyoming dozens of times, who at 80 still does yoga, was rushed to the KU Med Center in Kansas City by Life Flight for a quadruple bypass at the end of 2015. While at KU Med my Father was checked in to the emergency room with complications from Diabetes. They were fortunate that Medicare covered most of their expenses from these emergencies, but still had several thousands of dollars of out of pocket expenses to pay when they got home. They are not wealthy, just regular people who would have been in very deep financial trouble if it were not for existing healthcare safeguards.I worry that the AHCA will cut services and coverage in a way that could devastate their health and finances.

I've also attached a picture of my Grandmother, my son, and me. My Grandma is 103 years old and lives in the Alzheimer's wing of her assisted living facility. She doesn't recognize me anymore, or my mother who visits her daily, but she is always happy to see us when we visit. She is very fortunate to live in a place that is clean, where she is safe and cared for by kind staff. I have visited other facilities in Austin that are not like that, places that are run down, where residents wear dirty clothes and public spaces smell like urine. We need a healthcare system that protects and provides for the most vulnerable in their hour of need, especially the elderly who should have dignity in their final days. I worry that the AHCA will cut funding for those who need it most. For the most powerful country in the free world this should not even be up for debate or subject to influence by special interest money.

I am also attaching a picture of my friend Brandon. We play together in the music ministry at Alpha Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Austin, TX. Brandon is a young man and an amazing musician who suffered a sudden and rapid loss of his eyesight last year. "Brandon was diagnosed with Pseudotumor Cerebri, also known as Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension earlier this year (2015). One hospital stay, two surgeries, and nine doctors & specialists later, he's now legally blind."

Brandon's doctors have not been able to correct his loss of vision. He had to quit his job and his wife took responsibility for his care while also finishing her college degree. Brandon heard about an experimental stem sell treatment that offered him a chance to get his sight back. Insurance did not cover the treatment and he had to rely on GoFundMe to raise enough money for the chance to get his sight back. I think it is absolutely outrageous that in the richest country in the world many ordinary people have to rely on crowdsourcing for their healthcare. How will you change this??

All of these people are special to me. All of them have real health issues they carry every single day. When I read about closed meetings where a few Senators work on bills that affect every life in this country, with only a couple days of debate and analysis before being rammed through Congress and set into law, I am driven to a fury I have rarely experienced. As my Senator I expect more of you. As a person who claims Christian values I expect more of you. "Set the captives free, make the lame walk, and bring eyesight to the blind." Instead I see partisan rhetoric, expert analysis referred to as "fake news," and Senators wrapping themselves in the flag. I do not support ACA repeal and I do not support the AHCA and I demand the same from you.

Mom

Mom


Mom

Mom


GrandmaGreat

GrandmaGreat


Brandon

Brandon


Mon Jun 26 2017

Kate in Ohio

I was diagnosed with renal cancer one year ago. I require ongoing scans and medical follow due to risk of cancer being spread undetected. The malignant tumor was found in my left kidney after an ultrasound was ordered due to adnominal pain and gastroenteritis. Having good insurance coverage saved my life. A simple test that under this bill may never have happened. My 3 year old daughter has Down syndrome, First Degree Atrioventricular Block with pacemaker (diagnosed and placed Feb. 2017), hearing loss, hearing aides (diagnosed Jan. 2017, received May, 2017) and dysphasia, requires weekly speech therapy, has hypothyroidism and chronic sinusitis and ear infections. She was diagnosed with Down syndrome prior to birth along with Non Immune Fetal Hydrops(given 10-25% chance of survival) and Duodenal Atresia (intestinal blockage). We were advised by a paranatoligist to terminate the pregnancy. Our beautiful and worthy daughter was born (Feb. 2014) only two weeks early, and the Hydrops resolved. She had surgery to repair her intestine a day after she was born, spent two weeks in the NICU and had 4 subsequent hernia surgeries. If she were under this bill, she would 3/4 to million dollar cap. She is only 3 years old. Downsyndrome is a pre-existing condition.

Mon Jun 26 2017

Amy in Nevada

My bladder has prolapsed twice, in attempting to get surgical care Pre ACA .. I was even denied access to ER services. I could not get a doctor, as I had no insurance because I was priced out of access to it. I was 'preexisting' I was 31y old when I was diagnosed with arthritis in 80% of my joints, including my spine. I was 37y in 2006 when the medical community started lying to me, telling me my spine was causing my bladder issues. It would be 2009 before I learned the truth, when I sent all of my testing out of state to a concerned friend. Once i knew, I stupidly found a local surgeon, who was protected by laws meant to deny my rights, while he demanded payment up front to save my life. Because I needed a hysterectomy. A simple surgery if I had been respected by the doctors I was trying to get answers from, had it been addressed sooner, before it prolapsed my uterus and my bladder. And became a life saving reality …I didn't know I had options so i paid my money upfront for surgery, and the surgery failed..within 2 mo my bladder began prolapsing again. It would be another 3y before I would find another surgeon to actually give me care. Please visit my twitter moment for links to videos I shared while I was living the reality behind what trumpcare will offer for those who are targeted by it's hate and denial.

Mon Jun 26 2017

Kiana in Minnesota

It would destroy my family.

My parents are over 65, both are asthmatic and Dad is on statins. The asthma meds alone would be over $300, which they can't afford.

My husband has chronic migraines, sleep disorders, and type 2 diabetes. He takes as much medication for these inherited conditions as a man my father's age does. He needs them all to function.

We both have sleep apnea. Our CPAP machines each cost $3000. Without them, we could stop breathing and potentially die. Even if we don't die, our lives are shortened.

I have generalized anxiety disorder and have had severe dysmenorrhea since I was 13. I am on meds for both. Without either, I would be unable to function. I would be consumed by fear and worry and crippling pain without birth control.

No, the BC is not for what it usually is used for. Without it, I would be screaming for morphine 5-7 days a month. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy.

These conditions also require numerous doctor visits, especially for my husband.

We all work hard. We're farmers who feed the nation. None of us is on assistance, none of us are lazy, and we don't spend our money frivolously on things we don't need. Without ACA, we couldn't afford the care we need.

So even though we work hard and have done nothing to bring these conditions upon ourselves, these bill writers think we deserve to die?

Mon Jun 26 2017

Vik in Texas

The Affordable Care Action is not hypothetical for me. I was seriously injured in a car accident on February 20, 2017 where I broke my ankle and my hip. I had other health issues related to the accident, including being on a ventilator for 2 days after surgery and blood clots. I had sepsis, and my understanding is that it was a touch and go situation with respect to my survival. I spent 2 weeks at East Texas Regional Medical Center in Tyler and then 2 weeks at Trinity Mother Frances Rehabilitation Hospital. I am now staying with a friend in Longview and still undergoing physical therapy. Full recovery of my hip is expected to take 1 year.

The total amount of my medical bills is $450,000. My out of pocket for my ACA exchange plan is $3500. Needless to say, I am very grateful for the security that the ACA has provided me.

The ACA has allowed me to have the recovery and treatment that I need. It has given me piece of mind that I wouldn't have otherwise. I am eternally grateful to have this insurance.

And millions of others are grateful for their coverage. For many, it has literally been the difference between life and death. It was in my case, having been on a ventilator.

There are those who look at those the people who may lose their insurance as a number. Well, there are names and faces behind those numbers. There are families behind those numbers. There is a moral compass behind those numbers. For me, one person losing their insurance is one too many.

My story is not the only one. I know many who have seen the benefits of the ACA. I am proud to worked to get the ACA passed in the first place. Back in 2010, I had insurance before the ACA so it didn't have as direct an impact on me at that time. Today, it does. I worked on the ACA because I felt that it was important for all Americans to have health coverage. We have made significant progress in the right direction on that front. And I have no intention of going backwards.

I was reluctant to share my story so soon, since I'm still recovering and going through therapy. But telling the story can't wait. I can't wait. People are making their voices heard on how the ACA has helped them. I'm just one of the many. And I'm proud to do so.
I support keeping the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The alternatives that have been proposed, such as the AHCA and BRCA, will hurt too many people, including myself. I am scared of losing my health insurance. I am scared of potentially having a pre-existing condition (blood clot). I'm scared of having a lifetime cap which I would be almost halfway to reaching because of this accident.

Why should I be scared? Why should I worry about my security? I have nothing wrong. Why should millions suffer so that the wealthiest 1% get a tax cut that they don't need.

In closing, I support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and am strongly against both the House and Senate healthcare bills (AHCA and BRCA) currently under consideration in Congress. I strongly urge Senator Cornyn/Cruz to vote no on these bills

Mon Jun 26 2017

Leslie in Texas

My sister is 34 years old and has struggled with severe depression her whole adult life. She's tried every kind of treatment: therapy, dozens of types of medication, in-patient and out-patient hospitalization, and months in residential treatment. In 2010 she had experimental brain surgery as part of a research study on deep brain stimulation (it probably helped, but wasn't a cure-all). She depends on an ACA plan for insurance, which she wouldn't be able to afford, or maybe obtain at all, without guaranteed coverage for preexisting conditions, and the inclusion of mental health coverage. Without ACA coverage, she could not afford the care and the medicines that keep her alive.

cam post surgery

cam post surgery


Tue Jun 27 2017

Eston in Texas

Eston in Texas



Mon Jun 26 2017

Sara in Texas

Sara in Texas



Mon Jun 26 2017

Christian in Texas

I'd lose my health insurance! And so would my wife and daughters!

Christian in Texas



Mon Jun 26 2017

Gerrie in Texas

Senators: Protect out healthcare funding! You are in place to represent human beings, not corporations! Please, please have mercy and provide the people of Texas good, quality healthcare.

Fri Jun 23 2017

Anat in Texas

ACA repeal is a death sentence for many people living with preexisting conditions. ACA enacted protections including essential health benefits, no more lifetime caps, or denials for preexisting conditions.

My mother, widowed and retired (ie, no disposable income), relies on ACA with tax subsidies for medical care that helps her to stay active and monitor her ongoing health needs as she ages. She has preexisting conditions that will make her uninsurable if protections built into the ACA are repealed.

My 'young invincible' brother has a preexisting condition: scoliosis.

I, a working mother of 2 young kids, live with: anxiety, depression and Crohn's disease, a chronic autoimmune illness — all pre-existing conditions. Without protections built into the ACA, if I were to lose my job or have to stop working because G-d forbid I become very sick, I would no longer have access to the ongoing medical treatments and interventions that screen me for cancer, or that help me to maintain an active lifestyle.

My child lives with a chronic preexisting condition: congenital hypothyroidism. Without ACA protections and access to treatments her quality of life would be severely diminished.

My uncle lives with serious mental illness: bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. These are debilitating, lifelong preexisting conditions. He relies on Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security just to survive.

Dear, close friends whose children suffer serious and life-threatening special health care needs (mitochondrial disease, congenital heart defects, life-threatening allergies, Costello disease, Leigh's disease, and others) would not be alive today without Medicaid. These children would simply die. In addition to the daily anxieties and emotional toil their parents endure, these families would have faced financial devastation many times over, if not for lifesaving Medicaid.

I work with and on behalf of all Texans — vulnerable children (and their parents), pregnant women, Texans with disabilities and serious special health needs, seniors/ grandparents — who fear for their lives under the threat of an ACA repeal, and the gutting of Medicaid that has been tacked on to both House and Senate repeal proposals.

I am but one Texan. And, this is my story.

Fri Jun 23 2017

Arthur in Ohio

A Real Life Scenario for A Future Under the GOP Health Plan
By Arthur Lavin, MD
June, 2017

(This is based on real life experiences in my practice, but names and details are changed to protect privacy)
My toddler lies in my arms, and my husband and I know these are our last moments with him.

His story began 3 years ago when we found out that after many years of trying, I was finally pregnant, what a time to remember the joy we felt, the doors opening to a future with a child. We were so happy then.

About 3 months prior to delivery of our son, we found that he had a rare heart defect, but the good news was that there were surgeons in the country who could fix the problem. In the same day we were terrified and offered real hope.

My husband works hard, as do I. Each of us have a job in the insurance industry, doing mostly clerical work. We work hard, but don’t make that much money. Before our son was born, we were never all that worried about health insurance, after all we are young and healthy, who needs to worry?

But once we found our son had such a serious health condition, one that held his precious life in its grip, we began to see insurance as one of the most important resources, one that held our son’s life in balance.

During those incredibly tense times, we were so glad to find out that recent legislation opened the door to hard-working families like ours to obtain insurance that would open the door to our son getting his life-saving surgery.

It turned out to be more difficult that we ever could imagine. Soon after he was born, a law passed some years ago in Congress went into effect. Our family lost its insurance. We were told when it passed that a brilliant future awaited, that we would chuck government provided insurance and we would see the flowering of new plans that the free market would create. I don’t know much about how all that works, all I know is that now, when our child’s life hung in the balance, the GOP health plan has cut us off.

Without insurance we have spent all we could raise to see specialists, and we have depended on the free care ER’s have had to provide during the emergencies we experienced. Our son has spent his whole life very blue, since his heart condition keeps oxygen from getting to his body. The specialists have helped, they have prescribed medicines that have kept him alive for the first months of life, and the ER’s have taken life-saving actions. But Andrew can’t live without the special surgery, and that surgery costs over $250,000. We don’t have the money, and our country has told us they cannot help.

Who can believe it, but solely because of a law passed, my husband and I are now sitting at home with our dear Andrew on our laps, watching him struggle to breathe. Over time, the lack of oxygen has stunted his growth, so although he is 15 months old, he barely weighs over 10 pounds. What makes this all so unbearable are memories of sitting in our specialist’s waiting room and seeing older kids with a similar problem, who had insurance before the GOP plan went into effect, who got their surgery, and are running around the office.

That could have been Andrew, but instead, Andrew has been sentenced to this tragic end. As we prepare for the last moments, we try to comfort Andrew who is far more blue than ever, each breath takes all he has just to get it in and out of his frail body. He is clearly so uncomfortable. As he has gotten older, and his body was withered, his eyes seem to get bigger and they turn to us with all the love he has always had for us. There is some comfort in that connection.
Soon, his breaths become more irregular, and turn into gasps. His body shakes, and we know the end is near. After a few hours, he eyes close and we begin to hug him goodbye. A few more gasps and Andrew is no more.

This scenario represents one of the estimated 46,000 deaths that will occur if the GOP health bill becomes law. We know the official estimates establish that 23 million Americans will lose health insurance as a result of this bill, and that about 1 in 500 people who lose insurance will die as a result of this happening. Andrew’s story will be one of these 46,000 stories.

What sort of country, what sort of people, would support stripping Andrew of his life-saving surgery, and handing that $250,000 over to a handful of already astoundingly wealthy people? Apparently that country is America, and those people are us. We have a lot to answer to the Mom and Dad of Andrew. May we find the courage and ability to stop this from happening to them.

Fri Jun 23 2017

Christina in Texas

My husband and I are self-employed small business owners with pre-existing conditions that had us on the brink of disability prior to receiving care under the Affordable Care Act: He has a spine injury and I have Lupus. Now we are not only able to work full time, we are able to enjoy our hobbies, engage with our community, and even think about buying a house and starting a family. None of this would be possible if we didn't have health insurance to help us afford the tests, treatments, and therapies we need to stay well!

Thu Jun 22 2017

Katharine in Texas


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Thu Jun 22 2017

Catherine in Texas


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Thu Jun 22 2017

A Medical Student in Texas


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Thu Jun 22 2017

Samantha in Texas


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@Protect_Care_US @indivisibleATX I am afraid my employer will stop covering mental illness. That I will be fired because I can’t sleep or “pass” without meds.

@Protect_Care_US @indivisibleATX Terrified I will slide into poverty and exploitation again. That I will let down my disabled husband and he will be subject to brutality.

@Protect_Care_US @indivisibleATX My former developmentally disabled clients will be denied care & will receive it from a broken and violent carceral system (if they live).

@Protect_Care_US @indivisibleATX That my death and their deaths will be preceded by the indignity of untreated pain, blame from privileged folk, shame, and disfigurement.


Thu Jun 22 2017

Joe in Texas

I would lose my access to affordable coverage. I'm 62, selfemployed with preexisting conditios, including kidney stones. Because of the ACA my last emergency surgery cost me less than $500 in deductibles. Without it the same treatment would have cost me over $100,000, which would have bankrupted me. The ACA saved me.

Wed Jun 21 2017

Amy in Texas

My family owns are own business and gets insurance through the ACA. This past fall my husband was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. He went from being perfectly healthy to being in surgery for 9 hours! They removed his thyroid and all the lymph noids in the left side of his neck. It was the longest 9 hours of my life. The hospital bill alone was $300,000 that does not include the doctors or diagnostic tests before or follow-up care after. If this happened to someone without insurance they would be done. I have a relative in his mid-40s that works for an employer who provides insurance but he still can't afford that premium so he takes his chances. I told him about how much the hospital bill was and he said 'he would just declare bankruptcy'. What he doesn't get is that we all end up paying for that. Just like we all pay for those Emergency Room visits that go unpaid. The ACA is not prefect; deductibles are high and the 'in-network' of doctors is ridiculously small but three out of four of us now have/had health issues that would be considered pre-existing conditions. Without the ACA we wouldn't have any possibility of insurance at all.

Wed Jun 21 2017

Will in Texas

Back in December I started feeling lethargic and tired, and at night I would get back pains. I didn't think much of it, probably because I was used to living without health insurance. However, by late January I had to be rushed to the ER because I could hardly stand up. Turns out my gall bladder had become obstructed and I was days away from dying without getting emergency surgery to remove it. Luckily they got it out and I made a swift and full recovery.

Before the ACA subsidized insurance premiums I was uninsured. I signed up for health insurance as soon as I could. Without insurance I probably would have waited to go to the emergency room and it might have been too late. Even if they had saved me, I would be faced with a 60,000 dollar hospital bill that would take me literally decades to pay off. I am eternally grateful for the very real positive effect the ACA has had on me, and without it I'm sure thousands of people just like me will either die or be financially ruined when something unforeseen eventually happens to them.

Obamacare works, I have the scars to prove it!

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Wed Jun 21 2017

Amy in Arkansas

I was put in a position that led to me being a single mother. I have moved to be closer to my family and get help in raising my daughter, but I am still doing it on my own. Thanks to the ACA, I was able to get health insurance for myself and my daughter. Without it, I would be in an extreme amount of debt with the amount of times my daughter has been sick over the past couple of years. It has also helped me to be able to see a doctor and chiropractor to help my back pain which I have suffered with for 10 years after a bad car accident.

Wed Jun 21 2017

Eric in Texas

My wife has had some preexisting conditions for as long as I've known her. I'm a contract programmer and so tend to move from job to job. Consequently I have gone through dry spells when I couldn't afford any healthcare insurance and before the ACA the fact that I couldn't get any coverage for my wife's preexisting conditions pretty much made it not worth getting anyway.

When the ACA came along we signed up. She had some things such as a bad knee that had been deteriorating for years so we had them fixed. It is expensive but at least it is coverage.

But in the last few years the prices have gone up and the coverage has gone down. I'm currently working for a well known tech company and making better money than most yet about 1/3 of my after tax income is going to pay for two low end HMO policies and her deductible.

Since we got our ACA plans she has developed a new condition. Medical care is so expensive now (BCBS was billed $1300 for a simple blood draw for me) that without insurance we could be financially ruined.

With the Republican plan I can see our insurance rates go up to half of my after tax income or perhaps we simply will be unable to get any meaningful health care at all. This threatens our financial future and potentially threatens my wife's life.

After looking at the situation very carefully we have decided that our best option is for me to quit work, for both of us to start collecting social security and then to leave the country.

Consequently we are in the process of purchasing a home in Spain. We've priced drugs there and they cost 1/12 of what the same drug costs in the US. She can get good healthcare insurance for about 300 Euro that covers her preexisting conditions. I can get insurance for about 100 Euro.

It's my opinion that health care in this country is very badly broken, not just because of the insurance issue but because there are no cost constraints. Everything is unbearably expensive and we are not getting good results. In the WHO rates Spain as #7 for results and the Spanish people outlive Americans. In comparison the US is rated at about #36.

Wed Jun 21 2017

Jane and Ben in Texas

Medicare has been such a godsend for us — paying for Ben's two surgeries and 5 hospitalizations would have put us in bankruptcy along with millions of younger folks who have not been so fortunate. The premiums so far revealed for the AHCA would be simply out of reach for me if he were to pass. Medicare has enabled us to continue to be solid citizens, supporting those around us.

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IMG_1212


Wed Jun 21 2017

Julie in Texas

As a 60 year old and cancer survivor, I will not be able to afford health insurance premiums of $1,000 or more per month with very high annual deductibles on a $35,000 annual household income. We have received subsidies each year of the ACA. Prior to the ACA, we spend $20,000 from savings on premiums, deductibles and co-pays in the last two months of 2013 when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. (Oct., 2013)

I wish Congress would fix what's not working with the ACA and not focus on reducing taxes on the wealthy. Health care should be a right for all, not a privilege for the few.

Wed Jun 21 2017

Melanie in Texas

I am from Texas. I live in a blue county in a very red state. Cornyn and Cruz and their aides don't listen when I call about ACA, and I've been calling almost daily since 1/20/2017. Here is my story:

Fiveyears ago, an aneurysm exploded in my brain.

Sincethen, I’ve undergone four brain surgeries to repair three aneurysms. I’ve beenhospitalized 14 times in 55 days. Ten hospital stays involved “routine” brainscans. Others treated life-threatening anemia, “superbug” pneumonia, and atracheostomy. In rehab, I learned how to walk, bathe, feed, and dressmyself.

I live today because of exceptional medical careprovided courtesy of Obamacare.

When the aneurysm ruptured, I had great insurance with nopre-existing conditions.
Obamacare let me keep that comprehensive insurancepolicy. It could not be canceled when I left rehab. Annual or lifetime limits couldnot be added. I could keep the endovascular neuroradiologist I trusted. My bankaccount stayed safe from endless out-of-pocket charges.

Thanks to Obamacare’s Essential Benefits, I couldreceive the annual scans my brain needed. Three times in three years, thosescans revealed the aneurysms growing and threatening to blow again. Life-savingsurgeries, provided by Obamacare, prevented a repeat nightmare.

TrumpCare, based on a modified American Health Care Act(AHCA), offers no affordable way to give my brain the care it still needs.

Insurance companies could charge me, a 60-year-oldwoman, rates five times higher than a 20-year-old. If that 20-year-old has no pre-existingconditions, rates drop again. And, if it covers a male, rates drop a thirdtime.

Call it the GOP healthcare trifecta: Age Tax, Sick Tax,and Sex Tax guaranteed if you’re a 60-year-old female with a pre-existing.

AHCA lets individual states waive Obamacare’s EssentialBenefits. That translates for me into no brain scans, no aneurysm repairs, nohospitalizations, no emergency room visits, no prescriptions, no preventivecare, no rehab. Who knows what else I’ll lose.

Last year’s brain scan and follow-up surgery cost $204,000.Trumpcare promises tax cuts of $197,000 to the top 0.1 percent of Americans.Ironic, isn’t it: one person’s healthcare costs nearly equal another’s tax cut.

My healthcare expenses since 2012 exceed $1.3 million. Iface five years of brain scans before I reach Medicare eligibility. Does medicalbankruptcy await me and my family, thank you, GOP Senators?

Welcome to your new America.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Anita in Texas

I am a 62 year old retiree with several non-critical pre-existing conditions. I buy my health insurance on the exchange and qualify for a subsidy. Even with that subsidy I am paying almost $800/month for my coverage, with a deductible of $3250. I know that without the ACA I wouldn't be able to get coverage even if I could pay for it. I fear a life without health insurance because an unexpected accident or sickness could wipe out my retirement savings. Health care should not be a for-profit industry and I pray for the day this country will join the rest of the developed world and offer universal coverage.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Deborah in Texas

At no time in my adult life have I had employer-provided health insurance. Buying a policy on the individual market is prohibitively expensive, so for many years I was among the 25% of Texans who were uninsured. What little medical care I got, I paid for out of pocket, and kept my fingers crossed that I would not develop a really serious health issue. As soon as the HealthCare.gov marketplace opened, I was there, and bought the first truly affordable health insurance of my life. I have renewed the policy each year since. But now, at 61, I'm in that "older and poorer" group of Americans who will see our insurance premiums skyrocket if Trumpcare replaces the ACA. My costs are predicted to go from under $100 a month to more than $1,000, which will effectively throw me back on the "Stay Well or Die Quick" health "plan." I will again be uninsured, not by choice, but because I don't have $12,000 or $15,000 a year to spend on health insurance. The ACA has given me great peace of mind, and while I know it's not perfect, it's much much better than having no insurance at all.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Christine in Kansas

My husband is a self-employed musician of 20 years. He regularly tours the world playing music. I am a speech language pathologist who works in early intervention. My husband was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 12. He requires multiple medications, daily, to keep his disease under control. Before the ACA I had to work, just for health insurance, OR he had to apply to, and be denied, by 6 health insurance companies, take those letters of denial to the state high risk pool and pay almost $1000/month for coverage. Just for him. In 2014 I took a job in our hometown and healthcare was offered. However, within a few months, due to budget cuts, it was taken away. The ACA gave our family financial security, health security and peace.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Leiola in Kansas

My beautiful daughter who is pregnant with her second child has benefited from the Affordable Care Act. She is a school teacher and supports her family on her salary. Her husband and four year old daughter are not covered by her work insurance. Nor will the baby be covered when it is born. Without the Affordable Care act they will be at risk.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Colleen in Kansas

My husband and I have spent our lifetimes either working for small local businesses or owning our own (2 so far!) and struggled to be able to justify paying monthly premiums that were more than our house payment for 2 very healthy non smokers. The ACA was truly miraculous for us. We've been on it since the beginning. Last year my husband was diagnosed with a heart issue…the testing alone would have bankrupted us pre ACA. Now, my husband has a preexisting condition, so if the ACA is repealed it will kill our chances of getting insurance on the open market. Having insurance for the past few years has been such a relief. I didn't realize how much it had affected me until it was gone. Now the worry is back but worse.

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colleen-ks


Tue Jun 20 2017

Jane in Kansas

I am a psychologist with a PhD, employed for the past 30 years in Community Mental Health Centers. I have a serious pre-existing condition that made me completely uninsurable before the ACA. Narcolepsy is a neurological condition that causes dysregulation of the sleep/wake cycle. If I do not have access to the very expensive medication that allows me to stay awake and functional, I will not be able to stay awake to do my work, and will likely end up unemployable. Before the ACA, as funding for mental health was repeatedly cut, I lived in fear of losing my job and my health insurance. Before the ACA, I could not start my own business (and create jobs for others) because I could not go without health insurance. Access to health care matters.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Emily in Kansas

Last year I gave birth to my daughter and six days later lost my father. Two months after June was born, I lost my state sponsored health care. I have suffered from undiagnosed postpartum depression and anxiety this year, and for most of the year, due to my partner being in his final year of grad school, couldn't afford insurance.
When he began his job this fall, I was thrilled to have the luxury of health insurance again, only to discover that for just the two of us (not including our four children) we would have to spend $1200 a month.
In November the marketplace opened and I was able to get a plan for less than $400 a month. That meant that we would save around $300 a month.

My husband has a great job as a school psychologist, but if the ACA ends, if there are cuts to government sponsored health care for children, my family won't be able to afford to our rent because our money will have to go to healthcare. If I went back to work, I would spend my whole salary on childcare. Our family would fall through the cracks, and because of my mental illness, could be denied a policy.

I have heard person after person say that those who want the ACA are lazy, or taking advantage of the system, and that a privatized system would be so much better. I'm here to say that we aren't, and it won't. It won't be better for my family. We are already pinching pennies. I desperately hope that we aren't left with nothing to scrape from the bottom of the barrel.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Melinda in Kansas

My family is on ACA. We are a one income household after I was laid off while on FMLA maternity leave. My husband works for a very small company (3 people) so he does not get employer coverage. We are going to lose our insurance with the repeal. We are paycheck to paycheck and any little injury or illness will threaten to bankrupt us. We have worked very hard for what we have… a car, a house, a daughter. I'm so scared now.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Danna in Kansas

I know a lot of people have strong opinions about "Obamacare" but for our family it is a lifesaver! Adam and I are self-employed so we don't get insurance through work, and Adam was denied coverage before this law! If the people elected to represent us repeal the ACA, I can't imagine how we will pay for insurance for our family. I really hope they do the right thing, and work TOGETHER to improve the ACA instead of throwing out a program, developed with all of our hard-earned tax dollars, that benefits millions of Americans like my family.

weddle

weddle


Tue Jun 20 2017

Ana in Kansas

Every single one of us (except the dog) have insurance through the ACA. My son has asthma and food allergies, that depending on how things turn out, could be considered pre-existing conditions.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Amy in Kansas

These are my twin girls, A and Z, just minutes old. They were born nearly 2 years ago, at 36 weeks gestation (technically preemies, but pretty good for twins) and weighed about 4.5 lbs each. We lived in Lincoln, Nebraska, and at the time, my insurance had a waiver for being ACA compliant. First, I can't even imagine having a high-risk pregnancy and premature baby, much less TWO babies that require NICU care, without having insurance. Our combined hospital bills were >$90K. What I CAN imagine is not having the benefits of the ACA. While I had insurance, I was not eligible for: 1) a breast pump (despite the fact that breast milk is considered critical care for premature babies), 2) coverage for breast-feeding support, which I paid out of pocket because the girls were too small to learn to nurse on their own, and 3) birth control coverage, because few things make you think about birth control in the same way as having twins does. Every woman deserves these things as services as part of comprehensive health insurance. And as a woman, I appreciate that under the ACA, I don't pay more than men do for health insurance, preventative care is fully covered, and screening preventions, like mammograms are also insured. Don't repeal the ACA, work to improve it.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Harmony in Kansas

I'm a single mom, raising two boys on a fairly meager salary since my divorce. Each of us takes monthly medication that we sincerely need to live quality lives. Without my medication, I would have uncontrollable seizures. With it, I can afford to work, drive, etc…effectively living a normal life, thanks to good meds and the ACA allowing me to purchase insurance at a reasonable rate for my current budget. Not to mention get generic meds at an affordable price. I genuinely don't know what I would do without it, and am so grateful to President Obama for enacting a program which would ensure health for all.


Tue Jun 20 2017

Alan in Kansas

My daughter was covered by my insurance after she left college until she turned 26. She received medical treatment with a big impact on her life during that time. She is currently covered under her boyfriend's insurance plan due to his company's extremely liberal benefit package, but this coverage would be gone should he change jobs. At that point without ACA coverage her pre-existing condition and life situation would make health insurance unaffordable.

3836

3836


Tue Jun 20 2017

Michelle in Kansas

I am widowed, & the mother of two very young children. We live on Social Security Survivor benefits to the tune of $730 a month. I am too poor to qualify for the ACA tax credit, but because of Sam Brownback's penny-pinching, I do not qualify for Medicaid. I am the sole caretaker for my children and am terrified about what could happen should I ever become seriously ill. Nobody should have to live this way, yet if the GOP has its way, millions will. You are in an almost ungodly position of power. You literally have people's lives balancing on the point of your pen. Please, consider the morality of that, and choose either to refine the ACA or expand Medicaid. We, the people you have sworn to serve, are watching you.


Tue Jun 20 2017

Angela in Kansas

When I graduated college in 2006, I was no longer eligible for insurance under my mother's plan. I had $20k in student loan debt and no job. I found a few jobs teaching voice lessons and tutoring math and science. The money was inconsistent and I was constantly looking for other work. A COBRA plan to continue my old insurance cost $450/month. I made only slightly more than that per month and could not afford it. The cheapest plan I could find (providing very limited coverage) was over $250 a month. So I went without insurance.

One night I was making dinner. I was trying to remove an avocado pit with a knife – I missed, skimmed the pit, and the blade went right into my hand. I panicked. I wrapped my hand and drove to the nearest ER. But when I got there I remembered I had no insurance. I wondered if I should use the remaining credit on my credit card? Would this trip to the ER bankrupt me? So I left the ER and called an Ask-a-Nurse line instead. They told me I might have cut a nerve. I still have a scar, and for years my inner index finger tingled slightly.

I wish the ACA had existed then. I would have still been covered by my mom's insurance. I would not have been terrified that one simple mishap would set me back for years. It's something so simple that means so much in stability and dignity in the majority of American's lives.

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picture 1


Tue Jun 20 2017

Leslie in Kansas

Both my sister and her daughter are independent businesswomen, supporting themselves and their families, and strengthening their communities. As an independent, small-business owner for nearly 15 years and as a newly single parent, my sister relies on the ACA – her sole recourse for health insurance. With two chronic health conditions to manage, this coverage is her vital link to keeping healthy and retaining control over her busy professional life. My niece is just two years out of college; she started a good job working for a large multinational company where she was covered by a robust health insurance plan. But she was not happy. So, just last fall, she decided to pursue her dream of starting a fitness and nutrition consulting practice, while also competing in national bodybuilding events. The only way she could accomplish this was by being able to go on to her mother’s ACA insurance as a young adult under the age of 26. Thankfully, these strong women do not have any life threatening or difficult health challenges. They clearly illustrate however, that a vital ACA helps strong, independent citizens achieve their version of the American dream… healthy Americans working passionately and productively… contributing to and expanding our American economy. They are who you were elected to stand for and NOT simply overwrought, stale GOP ideology.

leslie

leslie


Tue Jun 20 2017

Emily in Kansas

My husband Steven and I are self-employed musicians. Steven taught high school orchestra in KCMO for 24 years until he retired in 2011, the year this photo was taken. We lost our employer-based insurance and were denied coverage through private carriers because of preexisting conditions. We had no coverage except catastrophic for 6 months until we qualified for PCIP, the interim coverage before the ACA market opened in late 2013. Just weeks after gaining coverage through PCIP, Steven had emergency gall bladder surgery. Later, he underwent two heart procedures. The ACA not only saved Steven's life, it saved us from bankruptcy. Years away from Medicare, we have no other option. Our HSA is not insurance. Improve the ACA — don't repeal it.


Tue Jun 20 2017

Nancy in Kansas

I live in Overland Park and practice medicine at the University of Kansas Hospital. These are my own. Please reconsider repeal of the ACA without a plan to replace. Repeal of the ACA will directly impact my patients and pull the rug out from under them in terms their healthcare needs. Every single one of my patients has a preexisting condition. Removing the protections for not denying healthy insurance because of preexisting conditions afforded by the ACA will cause some of them to lose health insurance and not be able to afford the treatments they need. These treatments and medications are what allow many of the to have jobs and live independently.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Katie in Kansas

This is me and my two babies. I am a 31 year old grad student. I graduated with my undergraduate degree in 2009, during the recession, and applied at roughly 100 jobs before I was finally hired at one: a daycare, where I made $9 an hour. I eventually was able to move to another job that I loved, provided crucial services to families who were considered at risk for child abuse and/or neglect. I had insurance through my employer. Once I became pregnant with my second child in 2013, I quickly realized that the cost of daycare for my two children would be more than I was making at my job. I had wanted to go back to school to pursue my masters degree; frankly, I didn't have a choice because for my family to survive, I needed to make more money. In my field, that required a masters degree. I also had no other choice on timing because I couldn't afford childcare for my second baby. So, with a 2 year old and 4 month old, I scaled back to part-time at work and began a 3 year graduate program. I lost my insurance through my employer, but fortunately, was able to receive insurance through the marketplace. I am now in the third and final year of my graduate program and have used the marketplace all 3 of those years; without the ACA, there is no possible way that I would have been able to afford insurance while I went through the journey of returning to school. I am going to graduate with my Master of Social Work in May, and I will continue for many years to come to use my voice for all of the people in this country who need and deserve such vital programs such as the ACA.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Julie in Kansas

My grandson Tristin (now almost 12) and I on the first day he came to live with me in 2015. He had Medicare from MO but since he moved in with me in KS they revoked his insurance. I contacted the state of KS multiple times but because of the MO/KS issue we were denied support, insurance, and other assistance. Thanks to ACA on Jan 1 2017 I was able to afford medical and dental insurance for both of us. Please don't take this much needed insurance away from us. He needs dental work and braces, without my insurance I will be unable to provide what he needs. And, I will be caught up in the MO/KS loophole where neither state will help us.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Lauren in Kansas

At 15 I found out, during emergency surgery for a ruptured ovarian cyst, that I had a medical condition that could be treated with the birth control pill. After college, I worked for a nonprofit, a Domestic Violence Shelter, which didn't offer health insurance. I used Planned Parenthood and had to pay for my birth control out of pocket. ACA would have saved me thousands.

Laruen

Laruen


Tue Jun 20 2017

Inge in Kansas

This is me & my hubby of 25 years. He is retired & on Medicare, I am a entrepreneur & pay for my own insurance via BCBS (the only one left in Kansas since my home state did not sign on with ACA).

So with a monopoly in Kansas for healthcare my premium increased 50% for 2017.

I hate to imagine what will happen if ACA is gone. I'm very worried about it and the effects of a possible repeal to Medicare in the future.

Inge

Inge


Tue Jun 20 2017

Elizabeth in Kansas

I fear that repealing the ACA without a replacement plan will affect my access to birth control, along with millions of other women across the country who rely on it.

I also rely on the ACA to allow me to stay on my parents' coverage until age 26, because I am choosing to further my education so I can become a more productive member of society. Unfortunately, as a full time graduate school student with a limited budget, without my parents' coverage I will have few options for affordable health care.

Repealing the ACA without a more effective, replacement plan will affect millions of Americans, the very people you were sworn in to serve and protect. I pray that you make the responsible decision and vote to protect Americans.

Elizabeth

Elizabeth


Tue Jun 20 2017

Leslie in Missouri

I am a public school teacher and so have always been lucky enough to have health insurance for myself and for my children. It's expensive but worth it knowing that we all have coverage if some unexpected illness arises. Because of the ACA my children, ages 21 and 24, can remain under my coverage until they are 26. Because of the ACA my children were able to get genetics testing done, as their father is known to have 2 cancer gene mutations. Because of the ACA my children will be able to get the recommended annual screenings for those who have these gene mutations when they reach a certain age. Because of the ACA I can have annual mammograms as recommended since my mom had breast cancer.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Bryony in Missouri

In April 2015 I was employed as a Social Worker (L.M.S.W.) laid off from a Case Management job at a local homeless Veteran Shelter. I took what work I could get quickly hoping to find full time work again in Social Work ASAP. Unfortunately, in December 2015 I had a severe back injury a herniated disk my L5 -S1. I was working as a courier without benefits. I had never experienced this kind of pain. I needed steroid shots, Physical Therapy, meds, but I was still unable to work full time. I required surgery on November 2016. Since I could not afford private insurance I signed up for the ACA when it first came out. Without the ACA I might have bankrupt, unable to pay my mortgage, homeless, & have to move back in with my parents at 40 years old!

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bryony-mo


Tue Jun 20 2017

Chris in Missouri

As a working artist, musician and teacher, most of my work is contract only, so the Affordable Care Act has made getting health care much easier with keeping my deductible and premiums at a reasonable price. To totally repeal will throw myself and a huge portion of this country into real hardship and basically return us all back to where we were before either scrounging around for a bad high deductible plan or not being insured. I feel that instead of repeal and replace they should improve.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Rachel in Missouri

I haven't had insurance until ACA. I'm now 47. I hadn't been to a doctor in easily 20 years except in the case of emergency room visits. I'm lucky in that I'm healthy, but as I'm growing older I'm concerned about general health issues and having the ability to screen for or treat issues that will be coming up as a normal part of aging. I'm self employed and make enough to cover my bills and expenses with very little left over for luxuries. I'm my world healthcare and insurance has always been in a luxury category.

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rachel-mo


Tue Jun 20 2017

Denny in Missouri

My wife & I were able to get insurance via the ACA, but I'm primarily writing for my daughter, who would be devastated if you help to repeal it. My daughter goes to UMKC full-time pursuing a double major, works two or three jobs to help pay her own way, and absolutely could not afford insurance if it weren't for the ACA. I ask you to PLEASE think about how this ignorant repeal will affect REAL people's lives. Forget your partisanship, and try to put yourself in regular people's lives and reconsider your support of repealing the ACA. Your actions have consequences – please remember that, and do the right thing and stand up to those that just want it gone because President Obama enacted it.

Denny-Mo

Denny-Mo


Tue Jun 20 2017

Paul in Missouri

I was laid off in 2004. Hadn't had health insurance until 2015. That's ELEVEN YEARS uninsured! I hadn't been able to refill my blood pressure prescription for nearly 3 years. The ACA allowed that. It was nearly $350 per month LESS than an employer-subsidized plan. Without the ACA, I would not have been able to manage my condition.

paul-mo

paul-mo


Tue Jun 20 2017

Angela in Missouri

I am strongly opposed to the Republican’s attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act. My husband and I are both self-employed with small businesses in Missouri. We have two young boys, one of whom frequently has to be seen at our local children's hospital for medical issues. Without access to affordable health insurance we would not be able to get him the medical care that he needs. Before the ACA our privately acquired health insurance premiums were rising so high every year we were to the point of not being able to afford insurance for our family. The ACA is not perfect, but I strongly feel it needs time and adjustments to work. The ACA should NOT be repealed and replaced, which would be devastating to millions of Americans.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Martha in Missouri

My family has benefited from the ACA. My daughter had just returned from teaching in France and was looking for a job when she returned. This was in 2008 and the ACA was not in force. Due to a pre-existing kidney condition, she couldn't find health insurance. She would have been eligible for a very expensive high risk pool but there was a one year waiting period. Her dad and I lay awake worrying about every sniffle and feared she would be hospitalized. By the time the ACA was in place, she had found a job with health insurance. Thankfully the lifetime caps for families had been lifted so she didn't have to worry about changing jobs every time she neared the limit. The ACA gave my family peace of mind.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Ina in Missouri

This is my grandchild. His dad is self-employed and his mother works part-time in the service industry. Thanks to the ACA marketplace, they were able to get insurance with the help of a subsidy. Without it, they could be left uninsured. He should have a chance for a healthy future. #savetheACA.

itsababy

itsababy


Tue Jun 20 2017

Rachel in Missouri

I decided I wanted a change from the typical 9-5 schedule so I quit my job and having been working part time. My insurance is through the ACA and I would not be covered otherwise. Due to medical reasons, my birth control is extremely expensive without insurance. The ACA had allowed me to follow my dreams while staying healthy and covered. If the ACA is repealed I will NOT have access to health care and I find that frightening.

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20161115_115651


Tue Jun 20 2017

Erin in Missouri

I support ACA because it covers 100% of preventive services for infants and children. My daughter was born healthy, but she still needed 7 well-child check-ups during her 1st year of life. The ACA has helped keep her healthy.


Tue Jun 20 2017

Lisa in Missouri

I have been married for 28 years. We have 8 adopted children and 6 grandchildren. We are small business owners. Prior to the ACA we were unable to afford health care. When ACA became available we got insured. I was diagnosed with stage 4 rectal cancer in July 2014. Because of the ACA coverage I was able to receive life saving treatments, surgeries, hospital stays, and pharmaceuticals including the maintenance drug I continue to take 21 days a month. Without it I will die. Without the ACA I would have died then. Without the ACA, I will die now. My husband will be a widower at 50, my children, 3 still in school, left without a mother, my grandchildren without their Nana. We are more than a number.

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IMG_0655


Tue Jun 20 2017

Chris in Missouri

In 2008 life was great – my wife Jen had just won the 3rd season of HGTV design star, we were headed for a new life in LA with her own TV show. We found we were pregnant, then we found something was wrong, then we found something was horribly wrong. My son, Winston, was born with a Lymphatic and Venous malformation, he had no airway or esophagus.

Winston could not be refused insurance for his 1st year, but he was dumped the second year and became uninsurable. In 7 years he has had 20 or so surgeries. He coded at 7 months – his tongue had filled with blood and it burst – he died for 3 minutes, but we got him back. After over 2 years being uninsured, the ACA came along – I remember talking to an agent at the exchange and told her all about Winston's pre existing conditions and she said we don't care your son is getting affordable insurance. On hearing her say that I cried for the 1st time in the whole ordeal – the relief that my son was going to be safe and get the help he constantly needs.

Winston will lose his life-saving, life-changing healthcare if the ACA is repealed. Five years ago Winston needed medication that cost $5000. We were so desperate and so broke – I remember taking my penny jar to an all night Walgreens to see if we could scrape together a payment for a few doses. It was probably the lowest moment of my life when I came home empty handed, and he ended up in Children's Mercy on the taxpayers' dime. We lost everything prior to Obamacare – the ACA allowed us to claw back into the middle class, to have self respect again and to know our son is getting the care he needs. I can't fight again. I am spent from the first round.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Dennis in Missouri

I am now on Medicare, beginning the first of January, 2017. I will be receiving my first Social Security retirement benefits in a few weeks. The ACA is important to me for several reasons. First, as a Medicare recipient, it allows me to receive preventive medical services at little or no expense, as well as health screenings for several diseases. Second, it insures that I can get supplemental insurance coverage despite pre-existing conditions. Third, several of my younger friends are insured thanks to the provision to allow them to remain on their parents' plans to age 26. And finally, some twenty million of my fellow Americans now have health insurance because of the ACA. This is a case of spreading the risk, and reaping the benefits.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Alison in Missouri

The ACA provided me with affordable insurance, including prescription coverage, when I left my full-time job in order to student teach. As a person who had had back surgery, pancreatitis and gall bladder removal less than a year before giving up my job/insurance, I was very grateful that my pre-existing conditions were not held against me and I could still purchase my prescriptions affordably. At this point in my life, I am still grateful for the rules included in the ACA that protect all insured people, even those who, like me, have employer-based insurance.

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IMG_5234


Tue Jun 20 2017

Carmen in Missouri

As a healthcare provider I have watched patients through the continuum of their medical care for many years. Before the ACA it seemed that hospitals did not care if patients had their follow up needs met or ability to obtain life-saving medications when they left the hospital. The attitude was one of "we've done everything we can here, now that's the patient's problem". With the implementation of the ACA. Hospitals now have a responsibility to ensure that patients have appropriate resources, appropriate instructions at discharge to ensure that they have the tools to continue to be healthy or to continue to obtain their life-saving medications. Before ACA the hospitals were reactionary. Now they have switched to a model of proactivity and patient education. This model is much better for patients.

carmen

carmen


Tue Jun 20 2017

Jennifer in Missouri

In May 2016, I went for my first ever routine mammogram. My insurance company covered it because it was a mandate in the Affordable Care Act. Within days I was shocked to discover that I was 1 of the 230,000 women in America who would be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. Only 7 weeks later I was undergoing a bilateral mastectomy to save my life. I am now one of the 127 million Americans with a pre-existing condition who stand to become uninsurable if the ACA is repealed. One-third of all cancer diagnosis in Missouri are breast cancers, a treatable disease if detected early. I'm including my story because I am thankful the Affordable Care Act mandates mammogram coverage and because it's important to speak up for the millions of women who don't yet know they have or will have breast cancer. Without question, repealing the ACA and it's preventative care and cancer screening protections will be a death sentence for many Missourians who don't even know it yet.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Diana in Missouri

Obamacare changed my life. I was a teacher at a private school and my husband was an accountant at a small accounting firm. I knew I wanted to go back to school and get my masters degree but had to wait until my two children were out of preschool. The first year it was possible, I moved to a part time position at my school (becoming ineligible for health insurance) and began going to school full time. One month into my program, my husband lost his job at the accounting firm. This was a major crossroads for us. My husband had a dream of starting his own custom cabinet and furniture business, a skill he had developed while working in a cabinetry shop through accounting school. We decided that now was the time, and we immediately began to develop our small business. It has been over a year and our business has been a success! Owning our own business has been one of the greatest decisions of our lives! If Obamacare had not been available, the availability of insurance would have dictated our major life decisions. One of us would have had to give up our dreams/ life goals in order to cling to a job that offered insurance. Instead, I am on my way toward a master's degree, we own a successful small business, and the quality of our lives in terms of time with family, freedom of schedule, and general career fulfillment is better than ever before. We happily pay our $450/ month premium, because it is the same amount we would be paying with insurance under an employer. This is much more reasonable for our family of four than $1500/ month it would cost to buy our insurance privately, something our budding business cannot yet afford. We are not entitled. We are not lazy. We are working extremely hard and directly contributing to our local economy. Obamacare gave us the freedom to pursue the American Dream.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Lori in Missouri

This is me and my nephew. I am pursuing a Master of Social Work at KU. To accommodate my class schedule and internships, I left my full-time job and have been working part-time for the last three years. Having insurance available through the marketplace allowed me to do this. However, even if I was working full-time, I would still need the marketplace because I am a behavioral interventionist for a very small company (Lifeworks Family Treatment Group) that does not provide health insurance to any of its employees.

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unnamed


Tue Jun 20 2017

Anne in Missouri

What a great day when I learned these cuties could be on my health insurance until they were 26. Thanks, ACA!

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Ashley in Missouri

In 2006 I began my master's program. I had received a graduate assistantship position which had a small stipend, but no health insurance. Since we moved to a different state for my graduate program my husband had to find a new job. He was able to get a job at an engineering company as a temporary worker, which also meant no health insurance. In my 2nd semester of graduate school we found out I was pregnant. While it wasn't what we had planned were still excited. However, our excitement was tempered by the fact that we didn't have health insurance and we mainly were living off of what my husband was making. We applied for insurance knowing we would have to find a way to pay out of pocket for our premiums, but we wanted good medical care for our unborn child. We were turned down because my pregnancy was considered a pre-existing condition. We found that the state we lived in had an insurance program for pregnant women, which we applied for and received, but it only covered 2 doctors visits and something like 50% of the cost of the birth, even though we had to pay monthly over $100. While $100 may not seem like a lot to some people, it was a lot of money for us at that time in our life. The insurance would have been okay if I didn't have any complications. Well I did have complications, which required multiple doctor's visits and 2 ER visits. In the end I lost our baby in my 2nd trimester. We were heartbroken. I can't express how painful it is to lose a baby, unborn or not. Our grief was compounded by the huge medical bills we had to pay. It took 5 years, and some assistance from family, for us to fully pay it off. We were lucky that we were able to pay it off, and we struggled to make the payments. Many people can't afford to pay their medical bills in full if they don't have assistance. This is why we must keep pre-existing condition coverage! Women and men should not have to struggle to have access to quality medical care because they can't afford the care. We are now in a place in our careers that we are comfortable but I will never forget the struggle we had with medical coverage. We were both contributing, taxpaying, and productive members of America. Yet, we struggled in a private insurance world that excludes anyone that has what they deem a pre-existing condition. A pregnancy should never be a pre-existing condition! If our congress truly cares about Americans and promoting healthy families they must uphold coverage of pre-existing conditions and other benefits of the ACA.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Sally in Missouri

There was a mix up with the private insurance at my husband's job in 2014. He faxed our enrollment information but UHC claimed they never received it and were unwilling to budge, even though we had been on the plan for 6 years, they said my two young sons and I had to wait for enrollment the following year. This was going to leave us without insurance for 6 months. We were able to immediately apply and get insurance with Coventry via the ACA Marketplace. This kept us all insured, which is imperative to cover asthma, an anaphylactic nut allergy (epi pens needed), anxiety and chronic eczema between the three of us. We were covered immediately, able to see doctors and fill prescriptions, and then were able to leave the plan with ease when the new year started. The ACA gave us an option for affordable health care and peace of mind when private insurance failed us.


Tue Jun 20 2017

Robyn in Missouri

In 2013 after several years of marriage, my husband and I decided we were ready to have a child. We both had stable jobs, good income, and although my small firm didn't offer any insurance, he had wonderful benefits through his municipal job. When I was seven months pregnant with our daughter my husband came home on a beautiful Friday afternoon in early May of 2014 with the news that he had been laid off. We lost his income, our stability, and worst of all our health insurance. Other than the death of my mother seven years prior, it was the most devastating news of our lives.

We received in the mail the standard COBRA letter from his former employer, letting us know that continuing on with his health benefits would cost us $1,232.00 per month for the two of us. Half of my monthly take home income. At this point we were still waiting for his unemployment to be approved, and had no income from him we knew we could count on. I applied for Medicare for myself and the baby, mistakenly thinking that all pregnant women who did not have coverage through any employer would be covered while pregnant. This was not true and my salary, even with my husband not working and the baby counting as a household member, was too high to qualify. This is where the Affordable Care Act comes in. We were able to purchase a fully comprehensive plan including wonderful pre and post natal care for me for around $250.00 per month, and a plan for my husband as well should anything happen to him. Without the ACA, any private health insurance I would have been able to find would have excluded all care related to the pregnancy and delivery of our daughter, if I had even been able to find care in the first place. The ACA saved us from financial ruin, unnecessary stress and fear during the end of my pregnancy and the first month of our daughter's life while my husband found new employment. It allowed us to enjoy becoming first time parents without the fear of not being able to take care of child's medical needs or my own.

To say we will be forever grateful to President Obama for the ACA is an understatement. I cannot imagine what our lives would have been like for those months in the summer of 2014 without the medical coverage we were able to obtain.

Robyn

Robyn


Tue Jun 20 2017

Rebecca in Missouri

My 14 year old daughter, Josephine, was diagnosed with a very rare neurological autoimmune disease that is caused by cancer when she was three years old. Her illness is currently in remission, but it took 10 years of treatment with monthly chemotherapy, infusions, and daily injections of a drug that costs $26,000 a month (Acthar Gel).

About 8 months after her diagnosis, I lost the job through which I had her privately insured. Because I was a single mother, living pretty close to the poverty line, she qualified for Medicaid. As the years went on, I met a wonderful man, but we could not marry because our combined incomes would have disqualified her for Medicaid. I also could not seek a better paying job because an increase in my income would have also disqualified her (or we would have to "spend down" (pay out of pocket) until at the poverty level before Medicaid would kick in and cover.)

After the ACA passed, my husband and I married (!), and I was able to take a well paying job. The ACA allowed my family a shot at the American Dream and the thought of having it all taken away is scary and infuriating.

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Mon Jun 19 2017

Kelly in Texas

I am 64 years old and looking forward to the protection Medicare will offer me, because I am greatly concerned about repeal of my ACA coverage. For my entire working life, I carried and paid for quality full-coverage health insurance for over 25 years, either personally or through an employer. I was the guy insurance companies count on to balance their risk—I didn’t have any serious health conditions.

After a layoff, I experienced the first of two heart attacks in 2003, which made me instantly uninsurable. Without health insurance, I was unable to complete cardiac rehab or afford preventive drugs or treatment. The ACA made insurance available to me for the first time in many years. After failing a cardio stress test and a bad angiogram, I had an urgent triple cardio artery bypass graft. The ACA literally saved my life, and I am grateful it exists.

About a year after my surgery, I was able to fly to Cleveland and take my father to see the Indians play the Angels. He was pleased that the odds of my outliving him had dramatically improved.


Tue Jun 20 2017

Tanya in Missouri

We are the ACA. We utilize the marketplace. We make too much money for subsidies. We are the people who don't like everything about the ACA. We are the people that think it is insane that you would willingly take away insurance from millions of people who could not afford it otherwise. We are the people who are appalled that you don't have a plan to help the very people you are going to destroy. Fix it!!! Don't repeal it!!!! Govern responsibly for all people.

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Tue Jun 20 2017

Rachelle in Missouri

I'm a small business owner, and the only reasons my family has had health insurance for the last 9 months are the ACA and the exchanges. Don't attack entrepreneurship!

rachelle

rachelle


Mon Jun 19 2017


Nora in Texas

I am a 28-year-old entrepreneur. I’ve benefited from the Affordable Care Act, first when I was able to remain on my parents' insurance until age 26, and also because I had a pre-existing health condition for which I’ve been hospitalized a few times. For this freelancer and small business owner, the ACA is only affordable way I can buy health insurance.

When I first started freelancing, I was eligible for tax credits, but now I pay the full premium amount. In 2015 I started a small business with a partner, which is growing, but not quickly enough to cover health insurance for both of us. If the ACA and its protections are repealed, I fear I’ll have to close my business and find a job with employer-based coverage.

Businesses like mine exist because of the freedom entrepreneurs have to take a risk, knowing that health insurance is available and affordable. I believe repeal will stifle new business creation and innovation. If I lose my insurance through the ACA I’ll probably close up shop and look for employment with a company that offers benefits, instead of working to grow my business and eventually employ others.

Mon Jun 19 2017


Stephanie in Texas

My name is Stephanie and I’m 37. In my 20s, I chose jobs so I could always have employer-sponsored health insurance because that was important to me. I was healthy and worked full-time until age 32, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My health insurance plan is a good one, so I’m glad that I didn’t have to go into debt to pay my bills. I’ve been on the same plan since 2005 and luckily, never had to change plans before the ACA was passed, when a new employer-sponsored plan could deny coverage for my cancer as a pre-existing condition. If I had lacked coverage when my cancer metastasized at age 34, I wouldn’t have been able to get the lifesaving treatment I did.

Because I’ve been in treatment for cancer for about four of the last six years, my health insurance plan has paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars. Before the ACA, there were lifetime limits, and when your medical costs reached that limit, just when you were the sickest, they could drop you (and they could drop you before that if you were costing them too much). Before my cancer diagnosis, I was very healthy and had paid into my plan for six years, rarely needing services. But since cancer doesn’t discriminate, any of us could receive that diagnosis at any time. If the Republicans are successful in repealing the ACA in the future, insurance companies will be happy to go back to the bad old days, when they could use inhumane business tactics to maximize profits. If the ACA is repealed, people like me who happen to have cancer could die because someone in a shiny office building decided that my lifetime should have a limit.

Mon Jun 19 2017


Mason in Texas

My name is Mason, and I'm an entrepreneur and small business owner. I started a software company around six years ago, which today employs six full-time and part-time employees.

Starting a new business can be both exhilarating and terrifying. As an entrepreneur, you experience the excitement of creating something new and working hard to realize your dreams, but at the same time you are taking a huge risk, putting your reputation, career, and financial future on the line. Starting a new business is risky enough without having to put your health at risk, too. By providing access to affordable healthcare, the Affordable Care Act not only helps people start companies and create jobs, but makes it possible to attract high-quality employees who might otherwise not be able to take a risk and help build a new company, out of fear of losing their access to health insurance.

I know I'm not alone. I have met many entrepreneurs who credit the ACA with their ability to take a risk, start a new business, and create new jobs in Texas. The ACA has not only provided me with coverage; it's enabled me to create jobs and opportunities for others. For that, I am very grateful.

Mon Jun 19 2017


Tio from Texas

I'm 26 years old. My husband and I eloped in 2014 and we welcomed our first baby in April 2016. I was lucky growing up to have a dad with a state job and good insurance. When I moved away from home, I was still covered by his plan because I was a part-time student. When I ran out of money for school, the ACA had passed, and I was able to stay on his plan until I aged out last November. At that time, being added to my husband's employer coverage was cost prohibitive for us, so I got coverage through the marketplace.

I did not have any major debilitating illness growing up, but thanks to the ACA's essential health benefits I was able to get regular preventative care. I was able to afford my prenatal care and promptly seek birth control after my son was born so I could focus on my family. I was able to access care and continue breastfeeding when I came down with mastitis – twice – before my son was 2 months old.

At my first annual check up after my son's birth, my pap smear came back abnormal. Not very long after that I developed a lump in one breast. A few months later, I developed a lump in the other one as well. With the continued attempts to repeal the ACA, I am looking at a very uncertain and frightening future where I don't know if I will be able to get coverage at all, much less treat whatever issues may arise.

Mon Jun 19 2017


Kyla from Texas

My name is Kyla. My husband and I have three children, two of whom are medically complex. We are hard-working, middle class, tax paying individuals. Without Medicaid and CHIP, we would be financially ruined and there is a very strong chance our children would not be alive today.

Katie, my 11-year-old, is covered by Medicaid as part of the Medically Dependent Children’s Program which has already experienced cuts that have affected her care. She has mitochondrial disease which affects multiple body systems. It took us years to find her diagnosis and build a team of physicians that understand the disease and how to treat it. She relies on a feeding tube for her nutrition and requires supplemental oxygen, along with a variety of other needs. She sees multiple specialists across two hospital systems. The cuts to MDCP have forced us to make difficult decisions between her specialist medical team and the hospital system that is best equipped to treat and monitor her rare disease, but we are thankful that she is still able to access the things she needs to survive. Further cuts could be catastrophic for her and for us. Katie is a very intelligent child with a love for reading, science, and performing in musical theater, in spite of her medical challenges. Her future could be very bright and she could greatly contribute to the future success of our wonderful state, but if she loses access to her physicians and the medical equipment she relies on to survive, she may not have a future. Medicaid is her lifeline, literally, and there are thousands of children like her that depend on it for their very survival.

My youngest child, Josephine, was born in 2015 with a large hole in her heart that required open heart surgery. Medicaid is the reason she had access to the pediatrician, echocardiogram, and cardiologist that diagnosed her. Medicaid is the reason she could be hospitalized, stabilized, medicated, and have a life-saving surgical procedure. Medicaid is the reason we were able to have her multiple life-threatening food allergies diagnosed. If we had not been able to see a doctor and get testing, she could have easily died from those undiagnosed allergies. Medicaid and CHIP have also given her access to life-saving Epi-Pens, regular cardiology check-ups to monitor her heart status, and access to therapy that is teaching her how to safely eat so that she will not be reliant on a feeding tube in the future. Josie’s young life has barely started and for her to have a chance of long-term survival, she needs continued access to the medical care that keeps her alive and monitors her conditions. She deserves a chance at life; a chance to grow up as a proud Texan and contribute to our state.

Mon Jun 19 2017

David and Claire from Texas

My wife and I both work in the arts and depend on the Affordable Care Act for health coverage.
I am a church musician who went uninsured for many years before getting coverage through the ACA. Claire has worked professionally as an artist for five years, and has held apprenticeships. She was on her parents’ insurance until 2016, and now works at a performing arts center.

In August of 2016, I became very ill and passed out. I had an emergency appendectomy, and my insurance protected me and Claire from financial ruin. Our insurance covered more than $10,000 in hospital bills. I don’t know where we’d be without the ACA.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Melanie from Texas

Five years ago, an aneurysm exploded in the back of my brain. I was airlifted to the hospital for emergency brain surgery. Neurosurgeons repaired the aneurysm, and found two others, both waiting to rupture.

After surgery, complications ensued. My lungs shut down from life-threatening pneumonia, a hospital-acquired infection caused by “superbug” contamination from either the breathing tube in my throat or the drain in my brain. The right side of my body was paralyzed. Doctors sedated me into a coma then dripped high doses of powerful antibiotics into my veins.
A nightmarish recovery followed. Yet five weeks later, I began rehab and re-learned how to walk, talk, feed, bathe, and dress myself. I returned to work three months later, after additional brain surgery to seal off the unruptured aneurysm.

In four years, I’ve had four more brain surgeries and nine brain scans. I’ve been hospitalized 14 times, including once for near-fatal anemia caused by blood thinners too potent for my weakened body.

I’m alive today because of an amazing medical team. And also because of the ACA.
Thanks to the ten Essential Benefits mandated by the Affordable Care Act, my insurance covered the lifesaving brain surgeries I needed, along with annual brain scans. Those scans turned out to be exceedingly important because three times in the past three years, they showed that my aneurysms were refilling, threatening to explode again.

My next brain scan is scheduled for May 26th, and I thank the Affordable Care Act that I’m alive and healthy today.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Erin and Neal from Texas

I was diagnosed with lupus when I was 16 years old. After college, I began working for a nonprofit that did not offer health insurance. I called all the major health insurance providers but was told over and over again that they could not insure me due to my preexisting condition. Later, after finding a new job, I learned that my preexisting condition would not be covered for the first 10 months. Naïve to this, I saw my specialist immediately after receiving coverage. I incurred $1,200 in medical bills that the insurance company refused to pay because the care was related to my preexisting condition. Although I have since paid these bills off in full, they negatively affected my credit for a few years while I realized they would not be covered and figured out how to slowly pay them off at $50 a month.

I work full time as a birth parent counselor for an adoption agency. I contribute to society and pay my taxes. Working in the nonprofit sector, I cannot afford to see a rheumatologist and pay for my medications out of pocket. Without access to these things I would die.

Now, my boyfriend who has a dual diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, is covered through the ACA Marketplace. Without health insurance, he would not have access to the rheumatologist he needs to see to order his labs and prescribe his medications – medications he needs to live. If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, he would no longer have access to the care and treatment he needs to survive. He eventually would have to stop working, get on disability, and his only access to healthcare would be visits to the ER until he dies.

We do not consider ourselves disabled at this point in our lives, and in order to remain healthy members of the workforce, we need access to thorough healthcare coverage at affordable rates. Please do not repeal the ACA. It saves lives. It certainly saved ours.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Carol from Texas

As a songwriter and musician in Nashville and in Texas, I always worked side jobs to make ends meet. Until the Affordable Care Act, I rarely made enough money to afford insurance. Yearly checkups didn’t happen, and I would go years between mammograms – which are recommended annually for women starting at age 45. I was taking risks. I was gambling my health would be good.
Thanks to the ACA, and because of the mandate that everyone must be on a plan, I got insurance at the age of 61. I found out I had breast cancer a week after I signed up. I think how horribly wrong things could have gone without the ACA—if I'd discovered I had breast cancer and then tried to get insurance on the private market.

The ACA covered almost everything — surgery, anesthesia, post-operative doctor's visits and almost 100 percent of my medications. After I recovered from my lumpectomy I had four weeks of radiation.

The Affordable Care Act saved me from complete financial devastation. Although I'm now in remission, I worry about what will happen if Congress votes to repeal the ACA. I may no longer qualify for insurance, or if I do I may be required to pay a lot more for the same care I received under the ACA. If that happens, I won't be able to afford it. And I know I’m not alone. Millions of us are worried about how we’ll survive without healthcare as affordable and accessible as the ACA.




Mon Jun 19 2017

Jackie in Texas

As a self-employed entrepreneur, I have to buy my insurance myself. Costs have been very high. Last year was a down year for my business but I was able to find very affordable rates for insurance through the ACA marketplace. Thank goodness for this otherwise I might not have healthcare coverage right now. Don't repeal the ACA and replace it with something worse. Let's just improve it!

Tue Jun 20 2017

C. in Texas

I'm a single mother of a 4-year old who came to me through foster care. He was drug-exposed throughout the pregnancy and experienced traumatic neglect. While he was in foster care, he received P/T and O/T through Early Childhood Intervention programs and exhibited some sensory integration issues. But because he was adopted under the age of 2, he did not qualify for Medicaid here in Texas, and my income is too high for CHiP. I am self-employed and had maintained an individual insurance policy through BCBS for over a decade – the premiums increased 15-20% each year. But adding my son to that policy would have doubled my premiums, to about $1000 per month. The ACA made my family possible. Premiums have been relatively affordable; until the last year, our doctors accepted the policy. I was able to have 2 surgeries for endometrial ovarian cysts. But my son's sensory integration issues have increased over the past 2 years. The lightning storm in his brain became so debilitating that it interfered with his daily functioning. We were eventually referred to a series of specialists, including a neurologist. Late in 2016, my son was diagnosed with ADHD and Pervasive Developmental Delays. These are issues that will require regular treatment and intervention, which he will lose if we lose health insurance. With treatment, my son is reading and doing math. He is a compassionate, charming, sweet-natured, effervescent person. But both of us now have pre-existing conditions. Both of us are uninsurable without the protections of the ACA.

Tue Jun 20 2017

Emily in Texas

My son has autism. Because of the essential health benefits in the ACA, my son is able to get services like Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Applied Behavior Analysis. There is no cure for autism; however, these services greatly help manage the challenges associated with autism. If the ACA is repealed, these essential health services might not be covered, and they will cost my family tens of thousands of dollars. Not to mention, my son's progress in social skills, speech, and sensory integration will be severely impacted if he has to stop these therapies because we can't afford them anymore.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Julia in Texas

I've worked in healthcare since 1978 and one thing is abundantly clear: the ACA has been the best governmental action on behalf of human beings since Medicare was passed in 1965. Thirteen men in the Senate are threatening to undo it, in secret, as a partisan power grab, for purely political reasons. They sit in their clean, quiet committee rooms and play with people's lives; I stand in an acute care hospital, meeting people on one of the worst days of their lives, and have to explain to them that unless they have insurance, the hospital is going to charge them ungodly amounts, and they must pay. Phrases like "pre-existing conditions" and "high risk pool" are only words to politicians, but mean life and death to actual people. The Senators on this committee are threatening to take out the parts of the ACA that made insurance actually support people, and not just make money for the insurer. What is the point of this? What on earth could they believe besides "Obamacare [politically] bad!" Surely they have brought more thought to this. It has never affected them personally, of course, because Senators get a sweet Cadillac of a health insurance policy for life, and are exempt from the laws they pass (we won't get into the insanity of that here, just note it). I've been self-employed since 1995 and thus buy my health insurance in the individual market, and it was a horror until the ACA. My son was born prematurely and had asthma, "pre-existing conditions" still held against him at the age of 20. My daughter is fortunately healthy but is on the autism spectrum, and receives school services that will be cut when Medicaid is gutted. I have arthritis, which has been ridered out in every policy I've carried since 1995 – so I have insurance that fails to cover what I need it to cover. It was a massive relief when my husband came of age for Medicare and got the care he had needed for years for hepatitis C and hypertension, but which had always been denied to him because they were "pre-existing conditions". We have paid up to $2000/month for bare-bones insurance, because I know that self-pay patients have the worst possible deal of all: highest prices, fewest options, major risk of banktuptcy with any major illness or accident. And our options continue to dwindle in the Texas individual market because Republicans have seen to hobble the ACA as much as possible before attempting to kill it entirely. And this is what they want to send all of us back to: poor, expensive care, with none of the safeguards that government needs to provide, because private insurers are in it for profit. There are only two ways to make a profit in health insurance: boost premiums/copays/deductibles and reduce services – neither of which benefit human beings. If there are true conservative statesmen on this committee, they will see the undeniable fact that the private sector has signally failed to deliver healthcare to all. Healthcare is no place for private profit. Profit should never be a factor in life and death decisions. If we eliminate the unconscionable overhead of profit-driven health insurance companies involved in billing and paying for the delivery of healthcare services, we can easily afford to provide health insurance for everyone. $59.17 per month per $20,000 of annual income is all it would cost to expand Medicare coverage to every man, woman, and child in America. Are they wise enough to leave their dysfunctional party and personal ambitions behind, and do what's best for people? We shall see. And we shall remember when they are up for re-election.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Heather in Texas

Three members of my family, two of whom are minors, would lose access to affordable health care without the pre-existing protections. My children should not have to face a lifetime of not being able to afford treatment just because they were diagnosed with illnesses as a child. Getting rid of the essential health care coverages could also be catastrophic for one of my children. My daughter has been hospitalized three separate times for depression with suicidal ideation and self injury. Because insurance companies are required to cover psychiatric, we were able to afford to get her the treatment she needed. If insurance companies are allowed to forgo this coverage, my family will face choosing financial ruin or saving our daughter's life. No family should have to go bankrupt to obtain treatment, but that's what we will be forced to do. Coverage through the ACA exchange has allowed my family to obtain coverage at a reasonable price. On the open market, our monthly payment would be more than our mortgage. My husband and I are self employed and make a good living, but we don't have access to employer-sponsored plans. The only way we can afford coverage is through the ACA. If you repeal the ACA and pass your own bill, my family will be one of the 23 million Americans who will lose coverage.

Sun Jun 18 2017

Lynette in Texas

Sun Jun 18 2017
I am a 39yrs old wife, mother, & public school teacher with no family history of breast cancer, but at 37yrs old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. For the moment, I am no evidence of disease thanks to the treatment I was able to receive under my employer provided insurance, but the House GOP bill puts my employer provided insurance at risk. I am terrified of the return to lifetime and annual limits. Limits will place my life at risk. If my cancer returns and limits are in place, it is likely I will not be able to access or afford any treatments for very long since cancer is so expensive. I would quickly hit any cap. Prior to the ACA, my insurance had a one million dollar lifetime cap. The ACA is not perfect, but it's better than nothing. When I was diagnosed on August 27, 2015, I knew the ACA protected me from my insurance dropping me, denying coverage, and there were no arbitrary financial limits to fear. I underwent 8 rounds of chemotherapy w/targeted therapies, a full year of a targeted therapy, and a bilateral mastectomy with auxiliary lymph nodes dissection all before my 38th birthday. Then, I endured 28 hellish rounds of radiation. I continued to teach throughout treatments and to raise my children, who are now 9 and 11. The ACA protects me and millions of cancer patients. I'm terrified of what the GOP are crafting in secret, and I believe the GOP bill will harm constituents like me. Cancer does not make me less than someone who by the grace of God does not or has not had cancer. Returning our insurance system back to the way it was prior to the ACA is absolutely wrong, but my senators are hellbent to ignore people like me and leave us to the whims of the healthcare industry. In my last letter to my senators, I ended it with this: Please, Senator, think of me when you cast your vote. Be 100% ok with saying you find me less. From what I can see, they're just fine with finding me less.

Sun Jun 18 2017

Tara in Texas

Sun Jun 18 2017
My name is Tara, I am 37 years old and I am a self-employed flute teacher. As a self-employed musician, I am responsible for purchasing my own health insurance. Before the Affordable Care Act, I could only afford health insurance that would assist with a critical illness or injury. I had to pay for all office visits, prescriptions, and preventative care – pap smears, blood work for cholesterol levels, etc. I am generally a healthy individual, but I was always worried about a major illness and I worried that my safety net would disappear due to unexpected medical bills. I was raised to always be prepared and my lack of good health insurance caused much anxiety. The Affordable Care Act has given me access to better healthcare. I was able to find a plan with a $2500 deductible, affordable co-pay amounts, included preventative care, and I found doctors that made me confident I was receiving good care. With this policy, I was able to have a minor foot surgery last year. I could not have afforded this before the Affordable Care Act. In January, I learned that my current plan was being cancelled in June so I scrambled to find a new policy. I found a similar policy with a $3500 deductible on healthcare.gov. My monthly premium fell from $445 to $351, so I am relatively happy. I know that not everyone feels this way. I recognize that the current system is not perfect and I agree that it needs revision. My monthly premium rose from $225 to $445 over a few years and I could not have afforded maternity coverage if it had been needed. I am not eligible for tax credit/subsidies and I am very worried about what will happen to my coverage if ACA is repealed. I ask my representatives to make quality healthcare available to ALL Americans. You should be working to improve the ACA, not repeal it.

Sun Jun 18 2017

Jennifer in Washington

Sun Jun 18 2017
I'm an asthmatic freelance bookkeeper so I didn't have insurance until January 2015. I used the ER when I had a bad asthma attack. August 2016 at 39 years old I found a lump, and September 9 got the call that I had breast cancer. An aggressive form called Her2+ which has a very high recurrence rate. I did chemo then had a mastectomy, they also found thyroid cancer so that was removed too during all this. March 8 2017 I got the call that I am cancer free, for now, but I still get Herceptin infusions every 3 weeks to reduce recurrence chances. I need these treatments or it's likely to come back! The ACA has literally SAVED MY LIFE!

Sun Jun 18 2017

Debbie in Washington

Sun Jun 18 2017
The ACA has allowed our family to have insurance and healthcare as we run two businesses. As entreprenuers we have created jobs, provide valuable services and are active in our respected communities. It is good to know we have the ACA to cover our family since we are both self-employed. It is an important for us to have access to afforfable and comprehensive health insurance and coverage.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Mark in Washington

Sun Jun 18 2017
My wife and I were in between jobs. I freelance and was on her health plan. For a few months we were in "limbo" but we signed on to the ACA and got were covered for those few months we were "jobless". They covered everything, it was amazing! Thanks Obama.
Sun Jun 18 2017
Because we used the ACA, we are strong supporters. We understand how important it is. It's a "safety net" for folks like us. It's life or death to others. Can't imagine folks not having health insurance in America. If anything bad happens you can lose your home. Crazy.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Marziah in Washington

My daughter has finally been able to work again and now has medical insurance. But until recently she was saved by ACA coverage. She had a pre-existing condition and several providers turned her down. An accident and several days in ICU at Harborview left her with crushing debt, around $100k. If Trump can take advantage of bankruptcy multiple times, I've come to the conclusion she should too.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Liz in Washington

My husband started working in the US over 15 years ago on a H1B visa. He was always covered for medical expenses by his employer. I however had been a seasonal worker for a couple of years and had experienced the difficulty in getting individual coverage. I had used Planned Parenthood for most of my regular checkups. After we married, Michael wished to be seasonal like me which we didn't see as a problem, but due to a blood disorder called Factor 5 Lidein, no one would insure him. The first time we have both had insurance together in many years is due to the inclusions of ACA, and no penalties for pre-existing conditions. I cannot imagine going back to non coverage now.. the older you get, the riskier it is.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Jennifer in Washington

My husband lost his job and went to work for himself. It was important to me that we could keep our same doctors. I signed us up for ACA. Fast forward to this past summer, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I have a 5-year old and a 9-year-old. I was terrified and also so thankful to have insurance. I was very lucky that I was able to seek treatment at a top notch facility. I have been at an appointment every week and sometimes many a week for the past 6 months. Medical care is expensive. Cancer is expensive. I shudder to think what would be happening with me if I didn't have ACA. I was also able to have genetic testing done which allowed me to make informed decisions for my own care and to have some idea of what risks my daughter and my cousins faced. I'm part way through reconstruction and instead of worrying about getting better I'm worried and anxious that I need to speed up my timeline before the repeal. I'm also afraid of having a pre-existing condition and not being covered for future care related to my breast cancer diagnosis. Thanks to the ACA I will be a breast cancer survivor.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Connie in Washington

Because of the ACA I am able to cover my daughter, age 24, on my health care plan. My daughter underwent a bone marrow transplant at 11 months of age and has multiple medical challenges that will follow her for the rest of her life. She also suffers from severe migraines, which could be related to her early history or could be genetic, and requires multiple expensive prescriptions to prevent and treat them. I worry what will happen to my daughter if the ACA is repealed and pre-existing conditions are no longer covered.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Renee in Washington

Before the ACA my health insurance cost over 1/2 of my monthly income. The ACA cut that in 1/2. So that is one very real concern. But even bigger than that, I'm worried about my very livelihood. I'm a lactation consultant and I work for myself. Parents now expect that lactation services should be covered by insurance because the ACA has that mandate. If that is taken away, it could mean that the way I make a living will be destroyed. Not to mention all those families who won't have access to expert lactation support. Another point is, I've been in practice for 20 years, I own a home (still paying a mortgage of course!) and by most standards I'm doing fine. The repeal of this law could put me in a whole different category.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Kiona in Washington

My father was extremely ill; he was hospitalized for months at a time. He lost his job, and therefore was going to lose his insurance. He couldn't find anyone to cover him because of his pre-existing condition. Between the time his Cobra expired and his next hospitalization, Obamacare went into effect. I don't know what we would have done had he not been able to receive coverage. Our family owes the extra years we had with him to Obamacare. He would have died much sooner without medical treatment.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Cara in Washington

My soon to be ex-husband who I no longer live with lost our family coverage last February when he lost his job with the family company he had worked for for 13 years. As a single mother with three daughters I could not afford private insurance (I am a real estate broker working on property management – thus an independent contractor with lots of business expenses and not a lot of income). For the first time ever I am on Medicaid (as of last May) for myself and my daughters. (5, 8 and 14). Though it is not nearly as good as my previous private insurance I pay no Co-pays for doctor visits nor prescriptions. We would have zero health coverage without ACA. I am highly thankful!
Sun Jun 18 2017

Eden in Washington

My husband (the breadwinner in our home these days) works for a small entrepreneurial company that, unfortunately, provides no benefits to its employees. I have couple of relatively minor pre-existing conditions in terms of cost to my health insurance company, but they still kept me from getting coverage the last time I was without employer provided benefits back in 2006. The ACA is the only way I can get healthcare on the individual market.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Katie in Washington

Provisions in the ACA also positively impact us. I'm worried about losing those provisions and I am concerned that coverage via SCHIP for developmental, neurological and mental health will be curtailed in 2017 or 2018.
SCHIP (state children's health insurance program) is why my husband and I are able to access a high level of therapeutic interventions for my sons with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Even with our "Cadillac" employer provided plan, the OOP costs for ABA and other therapists are out of reach for a modest income family. We have Apple health for the boys as secondary insurance. We used to have a higher income before having two kids with special needs made it impractical for both of us to work FT and get them the help and education they needed.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Anne in Washington

I have a Medicare advantage plan and if I didn't have it available to me I'm not sure what I would do. I have multiple preexisting conditions and am dependent on about 12 different drugs to just get put of bed and function. If I lost that or had a large deductible I wouldn't be able to afford my medical care. I have the double concern because I am on Social Security disability.

On ACA, everything was less money out of my pocket. I had total knee replacement surgery in March. I expected to be there for 2 days but due to pneumonia and a collapsed lung it was 8 days. My portion to pay was only about $1,500. I'm still paying but I wouldn't have been able to afford it without my plan.
Sun Jun 18 2017

Sara in Washington

To have affordable insurance for me who has a pre-existing condition and my children after I was laid off last year and moved into being an independent consultant. Getting insurance from my husband's work would have been 3 times as expensive as what we are paying now.

Mon Jun 19 2017

Michelle in Texas

Before the ACA, my insurance was very expensive because I was a woman of child-bearing age. The ACA made it illegal to charge more. Now, I'm afraid I will never have kids, because I will never be able to afford having one. I'm also afraid to go to the doctor for my back. I do not want to be diagnosed with a pre-existing condition prior to Congress's new bill. Seriously, what is the point of insurance if you can't use it when you're sick or need it???

Mon Jun 19 2017

Julia in Texas

I've worked in healthcare since 1978 and one thing is abundantly clear: the ACA has been the best governmental action on behalf of human beings since Medicare was passed in 1965. Thirteen men in the Senate are threatening to undo it, in secret, as a partisan power grab, for purely political reasons. They sit in their clean, quiet committee rooms and play with people's lives; I stand in an acute care hospital, meeting people on one of the worst days of their lives, and have to explain to them that unless they have insurance, the hospital is going to charge them ungodly amounts, and they must pay. Phrases like "pre-existing conditions" and "high risk pool" are only words to politicians, but mean life and death to actual people. The Senators on this committee are threatening to take out the parts of the ACA that made insurance actually support people, and not just make money for the insurer. What is the point of this? What on earth could they believe besides "Obamacare [politically] bad!" Surely they have brought more thought to this. It has never affected them personally, of course, because Senators get a sweet Cadillac of a health insurance policy for life, and are exempt from the laws they pass (we won't get into the insanity of that here, just note it). I've been self-employed since 1995 and thus buy my health insurance in the individual market, and it was a horror until the ACA. My son was born prematurely and had asthma, "pre-existing conditions" still held against him at the age of 20. My daughter is fortunately healthy but is on the autism spectrum, and receives school services that will be cut when Medicaid is gutted. I have arthritis, which has been ridered out in every policy I've carried since 1995 – so I have insurance that fails to cover what I need it to cover. It was a massive relief when my husband came of age for Medicare and got the care he had needed for years for hepatitis C and hypertension, but which had always been denied to him because they were "pre-existing conditions". We have paid up to $2000/month for bare-bones insurance, because I know that self-pay patients have the worst possible deal of all: highest prices, fewest options, major risk of banktuptcy with any major illness or accident. And our options continue to dwindle in the Texas individual market because Republicans have seen to hobble the ACA as much as possible before attempting to kill it entirely. And this is what they want to send all of us back to: poor, expensive care, with none of the safeguards that government needs to provide, because private insurers are in it for profit. There are only two ways to make a profit in health insurance: boost premiums/copays/deductibles and reduce services – neither of which benefit human beings. If there are true conservative statesmen on this committee, they will see the undeniable fact that the private sector has signally failed to deliver healthcare to all. Healthcare is no place for private profit. Profit should never be a factor in life and death decisions. If we eliminate the unconscionable overhead of profit-driven health insurance companies involved in billing and paying for the delivery of healthcare services, we can easily afford to provide health insurance for everyone. $59.17 per month per $20,000 of annual income is all it would cost to expand Medicare coverage to every man, woman, and child in America. Are they wise enough to leave their dysfunctional party and personal ambitions behind, and do what's best for people? We shall see. And we shall remember when they are up for re-election.