breast cancer, life, Uncategorized

Politics and Cancer Care Part 2

From No infringement intended.

Politics and Cancer Care Part 1-previous post

State of Cancer Care in America 2016 from the American Society of Clinical Oncology

I know the likelihood of this post changing anyone’s vote, especially since early voting opened in Texas yesterday, is slim to none, but I’m putting this out here and hoping I can at least make someone think.

Over the weekend, Trump published what his focus would be for his first 100 days, and of course, on the list was repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. His proposal is to replace it with HSAs and the ability to buy insurance across state lines. Fully repealing the ACA means the loss of protections many of us like and enjoy about Obamacare.

If Trump is elected, if Trump is able to repeal the ACA and replace it with this proposal, here’s what I lose:

  1. Protections from being dropped by my insurance company.
  2. Protections from pre-existing condition clauses
  3. Protections from annual maximums
  4. Protections from lifetime maximums

…to name a few.

And those few, that’s enough to ensure my vote does not go to the Republican nominee.

I got into a Facebook argument with a friend’s friend on a political post. I know, I know…stay out of Facebook arguments. No good comes from it and that’s how you lose IQ points, but I couldn’t help it. I said I couldn’t vote for Trump because his policies scare me. I specifically referenced the ACA. I may as well have been talking to a brick wall that was capable of yelling nothing but the Fox News playbook: Benghazi! Emails! Bill! I refused to engage on those issues (and will refuse to engage on those issues…I never said, and do not believe, Clinton is perfect).

I kept bringing my point to this: I am a breast cancer recoverer. Thanks to the ACA, I didn’t lose my health insurance last year. Thanks to the ACA, I didn’t have to worry about what I would do if I hit an annual maximum. Thanks to the ACA, I didn’t have to worry about so much.

I did some math (stop laughing…I used a calculator). All said and done, rounded down, all of my treatments and surgeries from last year cost in the ballpark of $300,000. Yes, three hundred THOUSAND dollars.

So, please, tell me more how repealing and replacing Obamacare will protect me, or others like me who have catastrophic illnesses or pre existing conditions? Please, tell me more about how the Republican party is the party of life? Please, tell me more about how the Republican party is the party of morals?

You lose your right to tell me Obamacare is the devil when I’m sitting here alive because my insurance company could not do what insurance companies have done in the past to women with breast cancer prior to the ACA by dropping coverage.

Here’s the facts:
I’ve worked for 17 years. I began my teaching career two days after I graduated from college. I’ve never gone without health insurance. I went from my mother’s plan, which covered me while I was a full-time college student, to paying for my own. I’ve paid health insurance for 17 years with the ignorant expectation that I would never really need it except for having children or if I had car accident. Otherwise, pffft, I’m young. I’m healthy. I don’t need to worry about my health. My family has long lived people. I’ll be fine.

2015. Age 37. Breast cancer.

And, I deserve to be able to use my health insurance without fear.

So, when I say my health drives my vote…my health drives my vote.

I’ve worked hard for 17 years in a profession that I love and is my passion. I went to work nearly every single day while undergoing TCHP chemo and every single day as I endured hellish radiation that left me with burns so bad, I still have a “tan” from them, that brought me to tears every single time I had to do a burn treatment.

I’ve paid for 17 years, and continue to pay, for my health insurance. I deserve protection from worrying about losing my insurance, from worrying about what happens if I meet a maximum. We ALL deserve protection from those worries. The ACA has problems, but the protections keep us ALL safe.

I want to give myself the opportunity to be with my children for a few more years, and the Republican party has proven to me, again and again, over the last several months, not only do I not matter because I’m a woman, but worse, I’m a woman with breast cancer. I got sick. I must have done something to deserve it, and we don’t want to pay for you.

Cool…Except, you’re not paying for me. I’ve paid for 17 years.

And, I’m not voting for you.


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