I am a 31 year old woman living in Southern California. I have always been very healthy and fit. Then, last May, I discovered changes in my breast. I went to the doctor right away. Tests revealed that I had aggressive, advanced breast cancer, caused by a genetic mutation.
Cancer treatment – chemotherapy, radiation, and multiple surgeries – is very expensive. I currently have good health insurance, but still needed to crowd fund to help pay for everything. My health insurance will expire when I finish graduate school, in 1-2 semesters. At that point, I will be responsible for purchasing my own private insurance. I will not be eligible for COBRA.
With the ACA, I will be able to find a plan I can afford, and it will help me pay for life-saving treatment, including daily hormonal therapy and additional surgeries to prevent ovarian cancer that my gene mutation makes me vulnerable to. Without the ACA, and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions, I will be forced out of the individual insurance market and left on my own. Unable to pay for medical care out of pocket, I will have to forgo further treatment. Without it, the chance that my cancer will continue to spread and kill me is close to 80 percent.
In other words, my life depends on the ACA. I want to survive. My family needs me.