Share your ACA Story
Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted, millions have signed up for health insurance and the percentage of uninsured Americans is at a record low. More than 20 million additional Americans have healthcare, and a million additional enrollees are expected this year. Millions more are benefiting from the law’s many strong provisions, such as a ban on denial of insurance coverage for those with pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parent’s health insurance until age 26.
Unfortunately, 665,000 individuals in New Jersey who have gained coverage since the ACA was implemented could lose their coverage if the ACA is entirely or partially repealed. Those who are now trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act fail to acknowledge the real impact that the law is having on families. That’s why I’ve been working to bring the stories of those who have benefitted from the ACA.
George, Laurence Harbor: “The ACA provided additional health care for my autistic son who had aged out on my employer's health plan. Attempts in the interim to find a healthcare plan for him were thwarted by insurance companies that did not want to cover him.”
Alex, Marlboro: “ACA helped me to stay on my parent's healthcare for 3 years after college, which was a huge relief in a tough job market. #ACAworks”
Linda New Brunswick: “Because I have a pre-existing condition, I was put into a "high risk" insurance pool. My pre-existing condition? I take medications for high cholesterol. I was paying over $1000 and month for health insurance. With the ACA, that went down to just over $200 an month.”
Rob, Highland Park: “Both daughters received coverage under parent's plans until 26, saving them thousands. And later, both were enrolled in the plans through the ACA for one to two years, also saving thousands while receiving decent coverage. Worked well for our family.”
Laura, Oceanport: “Thank you for fighting to protect the health and well being of all Americans by defending the ACA. I believe that healthcare should be the right of all citizens regardless of income or status. I have dealt with chronic illness my entire adult life. The ACA was passed just months before I reached the $1,000,000 lifetime maximum coverage that was set by my insurance through my employer. The burden of dealing with chronic illness and the prospect that I would become uninsurable was a source of much worry for me. The ACA lifted that burden and has reduced the costs of the specialty medications that I need for my survival. If the ACA is repealed, many children, the elderly and those coping with illness will be without protection and coverage. Please continue to fight for our most vulnerable, often voiceless citizens.”
Michelle, New Brunswick: “As a survivor of childhood cancer, I am deeply concerned about the repeal of the ACA, which could bar me from obtaining health insurance due to my pre-existing conditions. I accessed coverage from the ACA insurance exchange when I lost my job due to a health condition in 2014-2015. Because I had affordable coverage, I was able to obtain the necessary care needed to recover from the long-term effects from cancer. Now, I’m back on my feet, working, and contributing to the American economy. I urge you to please defend the ACA and help the 335,000+ cancer survivors in New Jersey who depend on it.”
Michael, Sayreville: Michael has lived in Sayreville for over 20 years. He is self-employed. He used to be on his spouse’s health insurance plan but after they divorced he found himself uninsured and without any affordable options. Michael suffers from high blood pressure and, he was not able to receive the medications he needed to manage his condition. The daily bouts of dizziness, loss of balance and difficulty focusing while driving were all signs that his blood pressure was at an all-time high. He knew he needed to see a doctor right away, but couldn’t because he wasn’t insured. Michael applied for health insurance through the ACA’s individual market. And he found an affordable medical and dental plan that met his needs. He pays less for his blood pressure medications now than he did on his previous plan. He told my office that his doctor said there was a strong possibility he could have had a stroke if his blood pressure continued to go unchecked. Stories like these remind us that jobs and family arrangements can change—but we always need access to health care.
Susan Gillespie: Susan is also from my district and she told my office that two of her sons buy their health insurance through the marketplace. One of her sons was paying almost as much for health insurance as he was for rent before he found an ACA plan. She said she’s grateful. And I’m quoting now: “Obamacare takes the fear out of losing a job. Our biggest fear was the unavailability of insurance if that happened. We both have pre-existing conditions. But who doesn't after 50? With the ACA, we know we can be insured.” I think she makes a good point. Before the ACA, insurance companies could deny insurance or charge people absurd prices for serious pre-existing conditions like cancer or drug addiction. And they could even discriminate against folks for very common conditions like pregnancy and high blood pressure. People with pre-existing conditions need health insurance more than almost anyone and we can’t go back to the days when companies would often turn them away.
Theresa, Port Monmouth: “My Godmother, Karen, died because she didn’t go to the doctor. It wasn’t because she didn’t want to, it was because she couldn’t afford it and had a life threatening condition she didn’t know about. If she had been able to go to the doctor, get her blood pressure checked, and get medication, my children may have known her and her child might still have a mother, her husband, might still have a wife, her mother might still have her child and her brother might still have a sister. There are so many stories like this, and sadly, I might become one of them. My thyroid disease could easily be labeled a ‘preexisting condition’ and a medication I need to function could be denied me because I’ve had it for years. I’m scared, sad, frustrated, and angry.”