LANSING, Mich. — The future of health care impacted the votes of people across the country. Alexa Liacko is with a family wondering how the election results will affect their medical costs.
"A little over three years ago i walked into a doctor's office with a nagging cough and walked out with a stage four cancer diagnosis. Everything changed for me all at once. Between chemo I lost all my hair. Some days i wouldn't be able to get out of bed and there was a lot of pain. Surgeries and two hospitalizations. It was six months of misery. The bills piled up. I think it was near a million dollars."
She says thankfully, her insurance through the affordable care act saved her in more ways than one. "I've been self-employed off and on for over a decade, I used to have junk insurance, and if I still had that insurance today, I would be bankrupt or dead," but she’s worried this level of insurance coverage won’t last.
"The day after my first chemotherapy was when republicans in the house voted to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which was keeping me alive." As talks of repealing the ACA gained ground, Laura moved hundreds of miles away from family to live in Colorado. Because Colorado has pretty good state level protections, but nobody should have to live like this.
"Nobody should have to be health care refugee in their own country just to get care, and state level protections can only go so far, what you need is a federal law to protect everybody." Laura is now terrified the federal healthcare laws she sees as helpful could be changed or removed with the presidential election and new supreme court justice.
"My life is in the balance, but millions of Americans are in the balance too." Laura is worried those with pre-existing conditions won’t be able to get the care they need at a price they can afford. She is also concerned the individual mandate for health insurance will be taken away with fewer healthy people paying into the healthcare system, the system cannot help cover costs for people who are sick.
Michele Lueck, President of Colorado Health Institute. My fear is that the rest of the Affordable Care Act will tumble because we won’t be able to sustain it in its totality. Michele Lueck is the President of the Colorado Health Institute. Her organization has been looking at the future of American Healthcare, a future she says is unclear.
Michele Lueck, President of Colorado Health Institute at issue I think is your belief in whether you believe healthcare is a right. Laura Packard is just one of millions being helped by those subsidies and while she knows the Affordable Care Act could be improved, she hopes it will be the building block for even better care instead of waiting years for a new solution.
"I don't even know how many people will die if they succeed in destroying the Affordable Care Act because people will lose their insurance and people will die.and struggle is something all Americans have endured this year."
This cancer survivor is just hoping this election will bring a confirmation that her health is valued. In a pandemic, it's more clear than ever that we're all in this together and we need candidates and elected officials that work for the greater good and for a better future Laura hopes she will live to see.
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