An Open Letter

Please Defend the Affordable Care Act

This is a letter that I have shared far and wide, and now it’s found a home here.

Dear Friends,

I am writing to ask for your help.

When my wife was 8 years old, she developed Type 1 Diabetes, an unpreventable autoimmune disease that currently has no cure.  When a person has Type 1 Diabetes, their pancreas does not produce insulin, a hormone necessary for the absorption of sugar into the cells. A Type 1 Diabetic must then regulate their own blood sugar through monitoring and injections of insulin to stay alive.

Several years ago, my wife lost her insurance. Due to her pre-existing condition, she was not able to regain coverage.  Her test strips, insulin, and syringes, which are all extremely expensive, had to be purchased out of pocket. Visits to the doctor were rare. A trip to the emergency room due to complications would have been financially devastating.

Without insurance, my wife’s management of her disease suffered.  Seizures due to low blood sugar, or insulin shock, became more common.  They typically occurred in the middle of the night, and I would have to feed her honey or glucose until she recovered.  Her body’s reaction to the seizure would then lead to days of excessive highs and lows which, if left unchecked, would have eventually lead to more serious problems, or an early death.

However, because of the Affordable Care Act, my wife was able to get insurance that covered her medical needs. She now has an insulin pump, which has made a tremendous impact on her ability to manage the disease and her long-term health. Her test strips are covered, so she can test her blood sugar more often and maintain better control. She can now regularly visit an endocrinologist to help with overall management, and she can get yearly eye exams to monitor and treat any onset of diabetic retinopathy.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, she has what she needs to stay healthy longer.  There are still highs and lows, but there have been no more seizures or trips to the emergency room.

I know the Affordable Care Act is far from perfect.  It needs a lot of work.  I have no illusions about this.  However, this law that so many people love to despise has helped my family.  It has improved the quality and long-term health of my wife and best friend.  And now, it is under threat of repeal.

I am asking you to take the time today and call your representatives and senators and tell them to Fix the Affordable Care Act, Not Dismantle It.  Tell them to make it better so that everyone can receive the care they require, especially those who are vulnerable and in need.  Tell them to fix the ACA so that it can work for every American without hurting those who need it most.

Thank you.

Find your Senators here by clicking on your state.

Find your Representative here by entering your zip code or address.

Tell your representatives to:

Fix the ACA – Don’t Repeal

You can follow up with:

Protect Pre-Existing Conditions

(Lack of coverage for individuals with a pre-existing condition is potentially devastating, literally resulting in lower life-expectancy i.e. death)

Keep Portability

(So that Americans can change jobs without losing coverage)

No High-Risk Pools

(So that the sick and vulnerable are not relegated to prohibitively expensive plans with limited coverage)

You can also follow up with:

No continuous coverage requirement

(So that any lapse in health care does not undermine access to future coverage)

No vouchers or block grants

(Replacing Medicare with vouchers may not be adequate and are an uncertain and potentially dangerous gamble that would most likely impact the elderly and poor)