I Am Obamacare

Inspired by Miss M's original post on www.giveneyestosee.com/blog

Email stories and images to iamobamacare@gmail.com

How the Affordable Care Act Has Helped My Family

Originally posted at MomsRising.org:

Our family’s medical history includes our father’s death due to a heart attack and stroke in 1990. Alzheimer’s disease is present in both our mother’s side and father’s side — with three grandparents currently suffering from the disease. Also present in our medical records is arthritis in several aunts. Many private health insurance companies did not want to give us health care coverage.

But thanks to ACA and the Healthy San Francisco health care program, my maternal grandparents have been able to get the health care that they need. Also, my brother and sister-in-law were able to receive prenatal care while they were awaiting the birth of my niece.

My niece is now turning one year old in April, and it is because of her parents’ love and health care coverage that she has a bright future ahead of her. ACA has helped many families, including mine.

Read the whole post here.

"Tears of Relief"

Originally posted as part of “Light at the end of the tunnel,” at susiemadrak.com:

I just got off the phone with someone from the insurance company and they’re going to give me a January 1 effective date for the state pre-existing condition insurance pool created under Obamacare — which means I can have the gall bladder surgery once it kicks in. I don’t mind telling you: tears of relief.

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"How Obamacare Helped Me"

Originally posted at Sparklight.

In April 2008, I stopped drinking alcohol. When Mimi left her job, and her group health insurance plan, in November 2009 I suddenly became one of the 50 million uninsured Americans. But thanks to the Affordable Care Act – or “Obamacare” if you’re of a particular political persuasion – I now have health insurance coverage.

I have a family history of alcoholism and in 2008 decided I wanted to stop drinking. But it was harder than I thought. So I decided to visit my primary care physician and she prescribed Lexapro, an anti-depressant medication. After one dose, I lost my craving for alcohol. After thirty days, I stopped taking it and haven’t had a drink since.

Good news, right? Not if you want to purchase health insurance on the open marketplace. When we gave up our group health coverage, our insurance company declined to cover me citing my past history of “substance abuse and anxiety.” Fortunately, I was able to continue coverage through COBRA temporarily; that company dropped me after a payment was 3 days late.

For the last 18 months I’ve been without any health insurance coverage. After much prodding, our health insurance company did eventually offer me a policy that cost $1,500 per month with a $10,000 out-of-pocket deductible. I declined, hoping that the health care reform law passed by Congress in 2010 would kick in before I suffered any grave medical problem.

And that’s exactly what happened. This summer, I learned about the Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) that was created as part of the health care reform law. Organized by the states and federal government, it provides coverage to someone like me who’s had difficulty getting coverage in the past. It’s not free, but at $168 a month it’s affordable.

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"Why I Defend Obamacare and Plan to Fight For It As Hard As I Can"

Submitted by karoli. Originally posted at Crooks & Liars.

In the summer of 2009, our college-age son suddenly became ill. At first we thought it was just a case of the flu, but it went on for weeks, and came with rapid weight loss. He’s not really a towering giant to begin with and always had difficulty keeping weight on, but he lost nearly 40 pounds in six weeks. I had been laid off from my job in December, 2008 and our COBRA payments were $1700 per month for our family. My husband was self-employed and we were unable to get any insurance from any insurer anywhere. It was then that our COBRA administrator notified us that our coverage was canceled, claiming they’d received my payment one day late.

There we were with no insurance, a very sick son, and little in the way of resources to help him.

After draining a chunk of my 401k for doctor bills, he was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It’s a horrible disease with genetic causes. There is no lifestyle change he made that “brought it on himself.” It’s autoimmune and genetic. Worse yet, the medications for ulcerative colitis caused him to become diabetic. While it’s likely that he may have already had unknown glucose tolerance issues, the medications exacerbated it to the point where he was forced to inject insulin to keep his glucose levels in check. He was nineteen years old, a musician majoring in jazz studies with hopes to move on to a career in music education and performance once he finished school, wrestling with life-threatening chronic conditions.

Musicians are self-employed as a general rule. His medications were $600 per month, plus test strips and syringes for the insulin. And no hope for insurance.

That was 2009. Since January of 2010, the ulcerative colitis has been in remission, he’s regained his lost weight and managed to wean off the colitis medications and with it, the insulin injections. Also, my spouse had gotten a job with health insurance that would at least cover catastrophic illness with an attached health savings account.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, we were able to keep our son on our policy and are grateful that we’ll be able to through 2014, when he will be able to get his own insurance. But it doesn’t end there.

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