The anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an important milestone in my health care story. Having lived with a pre-existing condition, I know what it’s like to not be insured because I simply could not afford to pay the high costs associated with care. I am terrified about what might happen to my family if the provisions put in place to protect individuals like me are removed.
As someone who works in the health care industry and sees how this also impacts those with mental illness and special needs, I know I am not alone in saying the ACA saves lives.
Before the ACA, I was uninsured for seven years when I stopped working to care for our oldest child. Not having health care and not being able to afford doctor visits caused an emergency room visit in which I was diagnosed with insulin-dependent Type 2 diabetes.
With health care, the symptoms could have been recognized much sooner, resulting in earlier management. Also, the long-term effects of delayed diagnosis have had a significant impact on my health. Out-of-pocket expenses are manageable because of ACA protections given to those with pre-existing conditions.
On the anniversary of the ACA, I am asking U.S. Sens. Joni Ernst and Chuck Grassley to continue to support health care provisions that protect people with pre-existing conditions, and to stop trying to sabotage the ACA. Our lives depend on it.