Yesterday I picked up Mitzi at the end of an afternoon with friends. In the car, while she snapchatted, I was listening to NPR as they reported on the efforts by the President-elect and the Republican party to repeal the ACA. I didn’t know she was listening until we got home and she made me keep the car running so she could listen until to the end of the report.
Yesterday, nine days after she turned 15, she realized that if the ACA is repealed, she could die, because of this little pre-existing condition that insurance companies might not approve.
She is terrified that, because she has type 1 diabetes, some day, health insurance won’t be available to her. Because, pre-existing. And without that coverage, she will die.
Mitzi was diagnosed at age 8, and yesterday was the first time she ever said out loud that diabetes might kill her.
But not the disease in an of itself, but because her life-saving medicine would no longer be covered.
Before you scoff, realize this — until the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), many insurers denied coverage to those who needed it the most, even (or especially) for pre-existing, life-threatening illnesses. (Because, high cost to them, you know, to cover medicine that saves lives, as opposed to the low cost for people with no existing conditions who don’t need life-saving measures or medicines.)
I know ACA is not perfect. I know that. But until there is a program in place that ensures coverage for those who need it the most, please please please speak up to your senators and representatives and to insist that ACA not be repealed — or even modified — until another plan is proposed, vetted, approved, and in place.
I have a 15 year old daughter who should be focused on school, friends, sports, music, books, and figuring out how to grow up. How to continue to be a leader. How to continue to care for toddlers as a camp counselor and babysitter. How to be a better field hockey player. How to record her music. How to live her dream of being in the FBI or being a high school teacher.
Instead, she is now worried that she is going to die before realizing those dreams, because her government just pulled her medicine from her — without insurance, staying alive will cost her thousands of dollars each month which is likely out of her reach.
So, GOP, Paul Ryan, Donald Trump, all of you — mine is one kid out of thousands, one story out of millions. Edit, adjust, change the plan if you must, but it is immoral and unconscionable to repeal the ACA without an alternative in place.
Lives depend on it.
I mean, they actually, not theoretically on paper or on a chart or in a tweet somewhere, real lives actually depend on this.
Stop. Put lives ahead of politics and the whims of a novice politician. Consider. Be thoughtful. Be thorough.
Or people will die.