It is no understatement to say that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) helped save my life. Since I was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 12, I have been an insurance liability. Living with cancer for more than half my life, I clearly fall into the category of someone with a “pre-existing condition.” This was not a problem throughout my childhood since I was lucky enough to have my parent’s insurance to pay for endless doctor’s appointments, scans, and rehab.
What would have happened though during my recurrence in 2014 without the ACA? When I found out that my tumor had grown back, I needed advanced scans and treatments to halt any further growth. Proton beam radiation alone cost more than $200,000, but since I was still under 26, I could afford these treatments through my parent’s health insurance. Even with insurance, I received monthly medical bills ranging from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. I am privileged to come from a family who can support me through one of the most difficult periods of my life. Without the ACA; however, I’m not sure if we would have been able to withstand the astronomical costs of my life-saving treatments.
With a Trump administration and Republican-controlled Congress, countless people’s insurance, myself included, is now under threat. In less than a year, I turn 26 and will need to buy my own insurance. Unfortunately, given the nature of my cancer, it is more a question of “when” rather than “if” my tumor will start to grow again. Without the ACA, when that time comes, I fear whether I will be able to afford what is needed to keep me alive.
I am just one of many. Thousands of cancer patients are now faced with similar fears about their future. Repealing the Affordable Care Act will put millions of Americans in a position where sudden illness becomes the difference between putting food on the table and facing bankruptcy.
I know there are a lot of problems with our current insurance system. My family feels those problems every time I receive a medical bill. Now is not the time though to completely undo the good that the ACA has achieved. Rather, let’s work to fix what is broken, and keep what works.
I and thousands of other cancer survivors live every day with uncertainty. That doubt should not include whether we will be able to access affordable healthcare when we need it most.
Please support the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) by calling into Paul Ryan’s phone poll:
Paul Ryan is conducting a phone poll on the ACA (Obamacare), hoping to hear overwhelming popular opposition to it. If you would like to express your support for the Affordable Care Act,
1. Call 202-225-3031 (this is his main DC number)
2. Wait through 40 seconds of complete silence. Or sometimes longer. Don’t give up!
3. You will be prompted by the survey.
4. Press 2 to participate.
5. Press 1 to register your support for ACA after listening to the recording. It only takes about 2 minutes to make a difference!
6. If you want, you are then able to leave a voicemail for Paul Ryan
If we learned anything from this past election it’s that one call like this, one vote, should never be taken for granted. Also, if I can call from West Kalimantan, Indonesia, you can call too!