Wed Jul 26 2017

Tegan in Ohio

It would put me at risk of losing coverage because of a genetic pre-existing condition. Congenital dilated cardiomyopathy killed my grandfather, nearly killed my aunt, killed my sister, and nearly killed my brother. When my brother, a 12 year old at the time, needed a heart transplant, doctors told our parents that the insurance company could simply decide to not cover the procedure. They had buried a toddler just 4 years earlier, and they were faced with the possibility of losing another child. No family should face that kind of pain and fear.

We need to ensure that all Americans have access to care. You can't predict when you will get sick, or injured, and you can't predict when a dangerous genetic mutation may emerge in your family. How we treat our fellow Americans is a measure of who we are as a people.

Tegan in Ohio

Fri Jul 21 2017

John in Ohio

I had polio when I was 2yrs old, in 1952, before the vaccine. Some theories are that polio was a result of not pasteurized milk or from the snow that fell on the ground.

When in my 30's I developed post polio syndrome. which has required two knee replacements, one hip replacement & will need a second hip replacement in the near future.

This all was before Obamacare

Deacon, age 10 (Ohio) – Little Lobbyists

Meet Deacon. He loves playing baseball, playing video games, volunteering at animal shelters, foster & rescue work with dogs, being a patient champion for children’s hospital, spending time with friends & family, being a big brother, raising money & awareness for heart disease/defects.

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.

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.

Fri Jun 23 2017

Susan in Ohio

Two years ago, my dad suffered a serious stroke. He was the primary care taker of my mother, who suffers from dementia and debilitating lymph edema, so when he was stricken, it was an emergency for both of them. I was able to get my mom on Medicaid, thanks to the ACA expansion in Ohio, and move her to a skilled nursing home where she can get the care she needs. My dad has improved, and though he gets around in a wheel chair now, he still lives independently. However, this would not be possible without the Medicare prescription help that he receives to help pay for the expensive, life-saving drugs he takes every day. My family is incredibly lucky that there is a social safety net; their finances were ruined by paying for mental health services for my sister back in the bad old days, before the ACA, when insurers didn't have to provide coverage for mental health, and if they did, could put lifetime limits on it. I'm worried we're heading back to that system again. I don't know what my parents will do if the GOP bill is enacted. This really is a matter of life and liberty for them.

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.