The president said everyone would be covered. I got critical treatment through Obamacare then watched in horror as he and his party tried to repeal it.
The last Democrat I voted for was Jimmy Carter. The last Republican I voted for was Donald Trump. After the past eight months, I am now a health care voter.
My story, and my family’s story, is like so many others. In 2008, after a 20-year career in health care, I became another statistic in the number of uninsured Americans and no longer had a job or employer-provided health care. I had followed the American dream and started my own small business. I am a barber in Tennessee and I love it. I was able to get insurance through my wife’s job.
A year later, her company closed and moved to Mexico, leaving us without health insurance. We had the option of going on COBRA to extend her company coverage, which we did; but it was expensive and ran out after 18 months — leaving us back at square one. I was then told I could buy health insurance on the private market place, so I did my investigating and found the only plan I could afford was a temporary policy that did not cover pre-existing conditions. As it was my only option, I took it.
After seven months, I began to have difficulty swallowing and had an endoscopy. I was then notified that my insurance company would not pay the bill because I had a pre-existing condition called heartburn. That cost was passed along to me.
As soon as the Affordable Care Act went into effect, I signed up on the exchange and had a second and third endoscopy. I was told I had esophageal cancer. I had surgery and a follow-up procedure and have been cancer free now for three years. I wrote my Republican congressman to tell him of my great experience with the ACA and received no response. I wrote my Republican senator and received a nice form letter about how bad the ACA was and how the Republicans were going to repeal it.
I wrote to the former president Barack Obama’s White House and told them my story and they celebrated with me the news that I was cancer-free and that the ACA had saved my life. I then listened to then-candidate Trump who…