The Affordable Care Act was a groundbreaking effort to take the fate of those who are sick away from insurance companies, like the one that infamously denied a breast cancer patient her treatment because of her preexisting condition of acne. The ACA isn’t perfect, but it pushed the rate of uninsured people in America to record lows while getting rid of insurers’ abilities to deny benefits because of preexisting health conditions, allowed parents to carry their children on their plans until they turn twenty-six, covered women’s health equally without charging women more, and covered mental health just like any other health issue.
People of any political background can agree that health insurance is still too expensive for many to afford and that we can’t neglect the sick and the poor. All Americans believe in the right to pursue liberty and happiness, and citizens must be healthy to do that. When people don’t have access to affordable healthcare, they have higher incidences of preventable disease as well as infectious disease.
The conversations I have had with community members in recent months show a common concern for those who have chronic illness, including mental health concerns. They worry that they will not be able to get or afford the treatment they need to survive if the Affordable Care Act is repealed. Some are actively researching states and countries that will cover their health needs. Not only is it unacceptable for people to be put in such a situation, but what happens to the people who can’t afford to relocate?
The reality is that we all know someone who will be negatively affected if the Affordable Care Act is replaced with a health care act that panders to insurance companies rather than protecting the citizens of our great nation. It's time to make sure that every American has good healthcare and that no one will have to choose between their bills and their health. This is why I support Medicare for all. We have a duty to our fellow Americans, not to insurance companies.