Saturday, January 28, 2017
Without the Affordable Care Act, I will likely die
To all of you out there who are willing to fight back:
One day, in November of 2006, I went to see my doctor because of unbearable back pain. The doctor suggested that I get a routine checkup just to make sure that everything was ok -- but, a few days later, I received a call telling me to come back to the doctor's office as soon as possible.
When I arrived, my doctor sat me down and told me that I had stage four prostate cancer that had spread to my bones. Because it was caught so late, it was too late for standard treatment. My only option was to participate in an experimental trial.
I was told to stop work immediately to focus on battling my disease, but I could not afford to and went to working part-time instead. Although I was enrolled in Medicare, I needed supplemental health insurance to pick up what Medicare didn't. I applied for everything under the sun but was rejected time and time again because my cancer was considered a pre-existing condition.
But that all changed with the Affordable Care Act. Suddenly, insurance companies could no longer deny me or others coverage because of pre-existing conditions like cancer -- and I was finally able to purchase a supplemental insurance plan.
If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, I will lose my health insurance. Without it, because I cannot afford to pay out-of-pocket for expensive cancer treatments or new experimental drugs, I will likely die.
Although I am not cured of cancer, I am thankful that the Affordable Care Act is giving me a chance to fight. I wish every day that I had gone to the doctor sooner -- if I had gone for a checkup even when I didn't think I needed to, maybe then I would have caught my cancer in time.
That's one of the things that worries me the most about the attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act: the possibility that free cancer screenings will stop. It keeps me up at night thinking about all the people who also won't have the opportunity to catch their cancer in time because they won't be able to see a doctor for a screening that is no longer free.
I am just one of millions of Americans whose life has been saved because of the Affordable Care Act. To take it away now would be catastrophic for us all. Please join me and other Democrats in the fight to save the ACA. The more people in this fight, the more people can keep their health insurance. Add your name to tell Congress to protect affordable health care:
Ann Arbor, MI
P.S. -- Back pain is a symptom of prostate cancer. I didn't know that, but now you do! Make sure you get your regular checkups with your doctor.