My Letter to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan

I just tried to submit the following to Mitch McConnell’s website where he invites you to “Share Your Obamacare Story” and found out that the maximum character limit is 500 — a little more than 2 tweets. So, that was useless. Here you will find the text of the email I have sent to both him and Paul Ryan. I encourage you to call your congressmen as well. I have also done that.

Senator -

I’m writing to you as someone who is lucky enough to be gainfully employed and has quality health insurance provided for myself and my family by the company that I work for. However, I am intimately familiar with the two sides of the spectrum: with and without the Affordable Care Act (or, as you call it, Obamacare).

In the early 2000’s, under the presidency of Bush, my father passed away unexpectedly. My mother, a homemaker at the time, was left to figure out how to get health insurance for herself and three young children. Due to my father’s young age at the time of his death, he had not much put away in retirement. My mom went to purchase private health insurance (long before Cobra and anything subsidized by the government) and she was quoted $3500 a month for coverage, so she had to make the heartbreaking decision not to have insurance for her and her children for almost a full year. If something had happened to us, we would have been bankrupt. Luckily, she had a job the next year that provided health insurance.

Then, under Obama’s administration, she was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, a rare, terminal lung disease that required a double lung transplant. Because there is no lifetime limit anymore, and insurance can’t choose to drop you based on pre-existing conditions, she received her transplant one year ago today and paid her deductible without worry. Her surgery, medicines, oxygen therapy and post care would have been over a million dollars without insurance. Money that a single schoolteacher simply doesn’t have. We are so thankful to have her alive and thriving today.

Under republican leadership, repealing the ACA would make people like my mom have to choose to go home and die, or receive life saving treatments. If my mom’s surgery was not covered by insurance, she would not be with us today. Additionally, if the government’s plan is to replace the ACA with HSA’s there is little to nothing that could do to help people like my mom. HSA’s are good for people like myself, who have income they can put aside, and are generally very healthy. My mom’s transplant requires that she take a series of anti-rejection medications every day in order to keep her alive, for the rest of her life. Those medications before insurance would cost more than she makes in a month. Tell me how an HSA would be able to help with that coverage? If the cost is more than she can make, the HSA does nothing for her.

Additionally, with de-regulation of insurance companies she can be dropped for her condition, or subject to a lifetime limit that would again make her anti-rejection medication out of reach. Why would that be a better solution? Why do you believe that it is better to have people choose between health care and paying their mortgage or rent? What, is so horrible about the ACA that makes you want to repeal it?

I implore you to listen to the people — ALL of the people. Taking health insurance away from millions of people is not public service. Do your job, serve the people and stop trying to line your own pockets. Health insurance isn’t a project you can fix down the road. It’s not infrastructure, student loans, etc — it’s literal life and death on a day to day basis for millions of Americans. Do your job and protect those who are at risk — the elderly, the young, the vulnerable.

Thank you.

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