Wednesday, January 25, 2017

An Open Letter Regarding the ACA

Good afternoon.

I'm adding my story to the millions in this country who have been helped by the Affordable Care Act. I'm a 34-year-old woman living in Washington State. All of the jobs that I have worked in my adult life did not offer health care, so for most of those years I went without. It was impossibly expensive to get insurance that was both affordable and actually useful. It's only since Obamacare that I've been able to get the health care that I need. It's not a perfect system, but it's a much-needed step in the right direction.

In the fall of 2016, I was diagnosed with a large (20 x 18 x 11 cm) endometrioid tumor in my abdomen, and I ended up needing aggressive surgery to remove the tumor and all of my reproductive organs. The biopsy confirmed that I had ovarian cancer, and I was fortunate that we'd found it in time before it metastasized. But I was only fortunate because I had regular contact with medical professionals.

I don't smoke, I don't drink, and I had an active lifestyle up until the tumor made it impossible to work. Cancer still got me. It's not hyperbole to say that the ACA saved my life. And for me, my journey is just beginning. I have a long road to full recovery from this surgery. I’m dealing with menopause without the option for estrogen replacement. I know that I'm now at higher risk for things like colon cancer and breast cancer, and this is coming at me at a younger age than I had ever expected. I need to have regular health care to continue my life, and the ACA makes that possible.

Many, many people are in these situations. For-profit ideology doesn't work in health care. People like me are doomed in that system, and it shouldn't be that way. I urge you and everyone who represents the people in government to do everything you can to save the ACA.

Thank you,
Jami Gramore

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