What really matters

By Julie M., Charles Town, WV

When dealing with any kind of illness, your only priority should be getting well. The last thing you should have to be concerned with is whether or not you’ll be able to receive life-saving care. A cancer survivor myself, I am very familiar with the struggles that accompany a serious illness. When my son was diagnosed in 2014, it was the Affordable Care Act that made it possible for him to receive the care he needed. My son was 23 when he was diagnosed — without Obamacare, he wouldn’t have been able to stay on my insurance policy and receive the treatment that saved his life.

My son has a unique type of thyroid cancer; in fact, he has two different types. He’s had his thyroid removed, as well as 50 different lymph nodes. We’re in year three and he’s still fighting. But we’re so grateful for the exceptional care he is receiving at UCLA, which has only been possible because of the law.

And despite all of the setbacks, I am proud to say that my son graduated college this past May. It’s through no fault of his own that my son got sick. How do you tell a 23-year-old kid that you may pay more because you were unlucky? That just doesn’t make sense to me. More than that, isn’t insurance supposed to be a resource for staying healthy? But if, as these new bills propose, you can get charged exorbitant amounts for having a pre-existing condition or pay for a plan that doesn’t even cover that condition, what good is it to even go to the doctor? You’ll be penalized for finding out that something’s wrong with you.

If the Affordable Care Act is wholly repealed, he’ll have to take any job he can get — even one that pays $5 an hour if it comes with benefits. Forget a career — he’ll be at the mercy of the need for coverage.

It’s sickening how they’re turning the issue of health care into a partisan political game. Obamacare isn’t some card with Obama’s face on it. They need to stop trying to tear it down just because of Obama’s connection to the law — the Affordable Care Act has been, and still is, saving lives.

My son needs this. Millions of others need this. Make the Affordable Care Act better; don’t repeal it.

Originally published at www.ofa.us.

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