Initially, I was in the hospital for two days for a colonoscopy, a PET scan and numerous blood tests. Since then, I’ve had two more PET scans, roughly 200 blood tests, numerous urine tests and oncologist visits. The total cost for all of this has exceeded $300,000. Luckily and thankfully, because of the A.C.A., my out-of-pocket costs were just $2,250 for 2016 and $2,450 for 2017. Without the A.C.A., I would be bankrupt and homeless.
— James Panagoulias, Westminster, Colo.
A Jolt of Pain
Without the A.C.A., which expanded Medicaid, I would never have signed up for insurance, and I would have been doomed financially.
In 2016, I got on BadgerCare, Wisconsin’s version of Medicaid. Last September, I went to urgent care with pain in my abdomen. I underwent surgery that removed a softball-size wad of inflammation from my intestines, including my appendix, and was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. They also performed a bowel resection.
Without coverage, I would have faced $50,000-plus in bills for emergency surgery and medications that cost roughly $650 per month.
In the spring, I switched to an Obamacare policy. If I now lose that, my bills would potentially skyrocket. I work as a waitress in northern Wisconsin and frankly cannot afford much health care.
— Michelle Doolittle, Eagle River, Wis.
A Cancer Survivor
I am a cancer survivor. My journey began with an early screening at Planned Parenthood in 2008, after which I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I get follow-up testing every year to ensure that I remain healthy, and alive, so the A.C.A. is crucial for me. My sister is also a breast cancer survivor, and she relies on Medicaid to take care of herself and her three children. My mother has a chronic illness. My health and the health of those closest to me will be in great jeopardy if the A.C.A. is repealed.
— Natarsha McQueen, Brooklyn
Protected by Family and Obamacare
I was diagnosed with a chronic medical condition when I was 9….