Amanda. My organ donor’s name was Amanda.

Of course I never met or knew Amanda. I only know her name, and face, and all too brief life story because her family and I agreed to meet two years after my transplant.

I provide this detail as background and context for a larger story I’m going to tell here. I’m going to talk about healthcare. I’m going to talk about my experiences and what I’ve learned navigating doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and, of course, health insurance.

I’ve been on a personal plan as a self employed farmer, major corporate employer plans, such as Blue Cross Blue Shield and United Health Care, and COBRA, when I was unemployed, followed by an Affordable Care Act (ACA) Marketplace plan when COBRA ran out. Additionally, two years ago my children were on KanCare, the State of Kansas’ implementation of Medicaid’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), during the time I was on an ACA plan.

Without a doubt, the ACA saved my life because with it I could afford comprehensive health care and prescriptions with my extensive preexisting conditions once my COBRA coverage ended.

Today, the Republicans voted to kill me. If I lose my job and am forced to try to get a health insurance policy, without the protections of ACA, I may not qualify for coverage, or I what coverage I could get would be so expensive that I’d be bankrupt or dead.

I’m going to offer my opinion and experience. I’m going to tell my story. I’m going to do my best to bring Amanda’s Story to you too. I live on because one family’s gift to a stranger when their grief was unfathomable. Register to be an organ donor now.

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