Editor's note: The U.S. Supreme Court is expected Thursday to issue a decision on the constitutionality of President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. Given the high interest in the case, Roseville Patch is reposting this blog that appeared earlier this month from community activist Sara Barsel. Her post examines GOP Presidential challenger Mitt Romney's stand on the issue. But in the course of her opinion piece, Barsel talks about what is at stake with ObamaCare.
A few days ago, I read a well-written blog post by Jonathan Cohn titled: Romney,
MS, and the Stakes of the Campaign. It is a commentary on the Romney campaign’s Internet video released for World MS Day 2012 highlighting
Mitt Romney’s reaction to Ann Romney’s multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis.
I watched the Romney campaign internet video, and was pleased to see the links to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society for additional information and donations.
If I were ignorant of Romney’s current position on healthcare reform , I might be satisfied with this snapshot. Because I have read Romney’s website, followed state and federal legislative discussions on healthcare policy, and am concerned about the impending Supreme Court ruling on The Affordable Care Act, I am very anxious.
Like Ann Romney, I have MS.
Unlike Ann Romney, I am not wealthy and paying for my treatment is a constant source of stress. My health insurance is provided through my husband’s high-deductible family coverage from his workplace and our contributions to this policy.
Currently, there is no cure for MS. The medication I take to modify the disease course (mitigate the degeneration caused by the disease) costs ~$3500 per month through the specialty pharmacy my insurance provides. I am very lucky that our insurance covers most of this cost.
If I have other symptoms, I may need additional medications, rehabilitation (with a physical or occupation therapist, speech/language pathologist, cognitive remediation specialist, among others), and the use of assistive devices. I do not know what the insurance coverage limitations would be on these additional treatments.
The uncertainty of the course of my disease, prescribed treatments, and my ability to pay for treatment make it very possible that I will someday face the choice between food and shelter or medicine.
Until recently, someone like me would have been at the whim of insurance companies, but President Obama’s Affordable Care Act changed that. If candidate Romney becomes President Romney, he promises to repeal it. Should this happen, insurers would once again be able to deny me and others coverage because of a pre-existing condition. Insurance companies could also go back to imposing annual or lifetime limits on coverage.
I am a senior who will quality for Medicare on my next birthday. Through
Medicare, I will get coverage for my tremendously expensive MS medication. As
someone who is concerned about health care costs and coverage, the financial
security and predictability that Medicare provides is invaluable to me.
Mitt Romney would change that by repealing the Affordable Care Act. Once again, seniors like me would face the “donut hole”, a gap in prescription drug coverage where I am left paying the entire cost of my medication.
There’s one more part of the Affordable Care Act that is important to people like
myself with MS and other chronic diseases. MS is not well-understood in the
medical community, nor is there much known about which of the different
available treatments work for different sub-populations.
The Affordable Care Act paves the way for comparative effectiveness research to test different treatment options for MS and other conditions that affect millions of Americans. By repealing the Affordable Care Act, Mitt Romney would take away my opportunity to benefit from that knowledge and to get better, possibly less
I am sorry that Ann Romney and I both have MS.
Mitt Romney has direct knowledge of the impact of this chronic disease on the lives of his wife and family. Knowing that he has this understanding, I cannot comprehend or accept that he plans to repeal the Affordable Care Act and deny middle income Americans its essential protections.
Romney’s campaign video does not placate me. His intent to repeal the Affordable Care Act is what matters.
Yes, it is a complex law, but I urge you to educate yourself about the issue. Do not accept an insulting dismissal of this legislation as “too long” or “too complicated”.
The truth is that there are probably provisions in healthcare reform that will make health care for you or someone you love more affordable, of higher quality, or more secure. That is worth protecting.