I am a cancer and stroke survivor from Ohio who likely would not have survived without my insurance obtained through the Affordable Care Act. As a patient with pre-existing conditions I am extremely grateful for the quality care that I receive. Prior to my cancer diagnosis, I had been fortunate to have a clean bill of health. I considered myself lucky because I was one of the millions of uninsured Americans. At the time I was employed part-time, but I still could not afford the monthly premiums on any type of insurance plan, even the so-called low-cost options. Despite not being able to afford insurance on my own, I worked too much to qualify for government assistance. I spent 10 years without any type of health care coverage.
With the advent of the ACA, that all changed. Suddenly, I was able to afford health insurance. It was also around this time that I began to experience health problems and suffered a stroke. I do not know what I would have done without my ACA health plan. After 10 years, I finally had health care coverage, so I did not have to worry about being kicked out of the hospital once I was stable. Thanks to the ACA, I was able to obtain the high-quality treatment I needed and focus on my rehab program without worrying about whether I could pay. To this day, I continue to be insured through the marketplace. If the ACA is repealed, or if it continues to be undermined and patients with pre-existing conditions like me can once again be denied coverage, I do not know what I will do. Given my medical history, I need regular medical attention and without the ACA, I will not be able to afford those doctor’s visits. Please protect the millions of patients like me by protecting the integrity of the Affordable Care Act.