How Obamacare Helps Me

Jon and me after our surgeries!
Jon and me after our surgeries!

As you all know by now, I am a 22 year old living with Cystinosis and I had a kidney transplant on May 30, 2013 at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC). Because of living with Cystinosis  I visit many hospitals and doctor’s offices, thus, I rack up medical bills quickly. However, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), insurance companies cannot place a lifetime cap on my coverage and cannot deny me medical coverage because of having a pre-existing condition. In addition, my copays and premiums are lower this year because of Obamacare and preventive services such as flu shots were available to me free of charge.

The healthcare law (ACA) aka Obamacare adds protections for the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual) community by prohibiting insurance companies from denying LGBTQIA people coverage. The healthcare.gov website has been designed to help consumers find the health insurances that cover domestic partners. Obamcare also provides access to evidence-based  interventions addressing tobacco control, obesity prevention, HIV-related health disparities, better nutrition and physical activity.

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There are some additional ways the ACA or Obamacare is helping Americans:

  • Up to 105 million Americans now can’t be subject to lifetime caps, and I am glad to be part of that number.
  • Up to 17 million children with pre-existing conditions can’t be denied coverage or charged more and beginning next year.
  • Up to 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions can’t be charged more or denied coverage. 
  • Over 801,000 Iowans have already received at least one preventive service at no out of pocket cost, and I am happy to be part of that number. 

Unfortunately, many Republicans in Congress wish to defund and repeal the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), they refuse to help young adults such as myself to get the lifesaving healthcare services because they wish to give insurance companies the ability to put lifetime caps on insurance and deny people like me insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Repeal of the ACA (Obamacare) would mean that over 100 million Americans could lose access to medical and preventive services.

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