The ACHA Will Probably Kill This Young Woman
When Laura Wilson was 22, she was in a bad place. It was 2007, and in those days, she was too old to be carried by her parents' insurance, so she found herself without any insurance at all.
When she tried to buy insurance, even if she could have paid any price, she was not able to because she had a history of kidney infections, which was considered a pre existing condition.
Laura battled many physical ailments over the coming years, including further trouble with her kidneys, epilepsy, and a life threatening case of MERSA from a spider bite. The only way she was able to recieve treatment in these instances was through the emergency room. After she recovered, she spent months proving she was indigent and unable to pay the bills.
For years, Laura was unable to seek preventative care of any kind. She could not go in when a problem was small and easily fixed, she had to go in when it was a true emergency, and it was a big deal. This meant ignoring a simple bladder infection until it became sepsis of the kidneys, it meant ignoring the buzzing in her ears and sinuses until her eardrums burst and she nearly passed out, it meant pushing simple illnesses to life threatening problems.
She had no choice. She had pre-existing conditions and a lapse in coverage.
Finally, when she was 28, in 2013, her state accepted the Medicaid expansion and institutionalized Obamacare. For the first time, Laura was not a pariah of the insurance industry. She was given coverage that she would never have had without the ACA, not only because of her preexisting condition, but also because she was a domestic violence survivor and a college student, and could not afford it.
One month after receiving coverage, Laura went to a primary care appointment and reported an unusual patch of skin on her thigh. It was during a preventative care apointment that they biopsied the lesion.
Because of the fact that, for the first time in 6 years, Laura had preventative care access, Laura was able to learn that she had Stage Four Metastatic Melanoma.
She had to have a chunk of her thigh the size of a large chili pepper removed immediately, as well as the relating lymph node in her groin. The doctors said that if she had waited a month or more she could have died because the cancer would have metastasized to her lungs or worse.
She was 28 years old when she had her life saving surgery. For the rest of her life she will be dependent on having health insurance to ensure that she gets the preventative medicine she needs to keep her cancer at bay.
She has already used it several times to have biopsies to remove small cancers on her arm and in her uterus. So, I guess that you could say that not only has the ACA saved my Laura’s life once, it continues to save her every day to this day.
What is particularly chilling about the current versions of the ACHA, is the many ways that it could affect a person like Laura. She could lose coverage when some 24 million people are booted off Medicaid. She would be unable to buy insurance, even if she could afford it, because of if her numerous pre-existing conditions (including both her physical ailments AND the fact that she is a domestic violence survivor.) She would be unable to get the preventative care necessary to prevent an occurrence of Melanoma from killing her. At best, when things got really bad, she could leave behind a mountain of debt by going to the emergency room for end of life emergencies. And that would be the end of her story... one of thousands of Americans who can and will die without the protection of the ACA.
The GOP claims they at pro-life. They claim that they are the ones who respect the intrinsic value of each individual heartbeat. They raised holy hell about those lost in Bengazi.
Where are the inquisitions now? Why are they not in the hot seat? Why aren't we grilling them to see what justification they have for killing so many Americans so shamelessly? The ACHA will boot 24 million people off of their insurance, effectively denying them access to much needed healthcare. Thousands of people like Laura will die.
For me, I am horrifically appalled. I am honestly shaking in my boots with fear for the possibility that the ACHA will pass the Senate. Not only will I be facing my own life or death battle if I lose my insurance, I will be terrified for my sister, Laura Wilson.
Laura Wilson is 31 now. She has been cancer free for almost a year. She is graduating from The Evergreen State College in June2018. She has already begun applying for graduate study in the
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