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What “really hit home”

Larry recently wrote in to share how Obamacare has helped his family:

I am a registered Republican, but I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

For as long as I can remember, the cost of health care has outpaced inflation, and that kind of increase is simply not sustainable. To pretend there is no problem is an insult to our intelligence. It's not something that can be ignored, although I don't pretend to know the answer and I do not know if Obamacare is the solution. However, I do know of one provision that has really hit home for me: the issue of pre-existing conditions.

Most of my working career I was fortunate to have my family covered under a group insurance program. Due to some temporary health issues, I retired early and could not afford to pay the $700 per month extra charges for my generally healthy daughter to be covered—so I purchased her a separate plan with the same company for approximately $150 per month.

As it turned out, my daughter had to have surgery for endometriosis, and we were surprised to learn that her $12,000 hospital bill and nearly $2,000 doctor bill were not covered. We were told that since she had problems with this in the past, it was considered a pre-existing condition and therefore was not covered. My 21-year-old daughter, who was a full-time student in college, was unable to afford such a bill, and I was living on a pension myself. The following semester we purchased her university’s group student insurance, so at least she’d have some coverage. But once she graduated she applied for another insurance policy, and she kept getting turned down. For many months she simply had to go with no medical insurance coverage, which put a lot of stress on all of us.

She got married and her husband is in the military, so she finally has insurance again. However, without changes to the health care law, she would always have to worry that if she or her husband lost their insurance she would be at risk of not being covered.

While many of us folks have had good coverage all of our lives and may be guaranteed coverage for life, any of us could have children who will not necessarily be so blessed. Events beyond one’s control can impact your career, and if you’re ever caught without the proper insurance coverage a relatively minor surgery could mean a lifetime of financial ruin. Republicans as well as Democrats need to work together to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to receive affordable health care. Pretending that our health care system isn’t in need of big change is totally irresponsible and does not reflect the spirit of the proud party of Abraham Lincoln that I once believed in.

Thanks and hopes this helps.

Larry of Tallahassee

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