Health care experiences are so personal, and yet anecdotes have been at the heart of debates over the Affordable Care Act from the beginning. As a candidate in 2008, President Obama talked about his mother’s struggles to pay her health bills as emblematic of the nation’s broken system. On the other side, VP candidate Sarah Palin warned of so-called “death panels,” a talking point that gained traction.
Health is about individuals, and every American’s story helps us understand the nation’s path to reform. For that reason, we want to hear your story and your answer to this question: What has Obamacare done for you?
Melinda Luke, who owns a horse farm in Connecticut and had independent health insurance for years, said she didn’t think the ACA would affect her at all. After meeting with her insurance broker to update her plan, Luke was pleasantly surprised to find that she will save $416 per month because new regulations mean her pre-existing conditions won’t factor into the cost of her plan.
“I think it’s worth talking to your agent, but if you’re switching your employment situation I think it’s definitely worth signing up,” she said. “Particularly people who had a large medical history that may have made them unattractive [to insurers].”
For Jaclyn Munson, 26, a host of pre-existing conditions had pushed her premiums up to $700 a month. After she suffered a seizure last summer, her bills went through the roof.
“There really is no emergency fund, I don’t have that luxury,” Munson said. “So the bills were taken out of my grocery bills, or student loans, or my phone bills—crucial things.”
She was able to find a health plan through the New York State exchange in December that lets her keep her doctors and costs $376 a month.
That’s what the ACA did for Luke and Munson. But we know not everyone has had similar—or better—outcomes, and we want to hear from you, too. And legislation of the scope of Obamacare affects more than just patients, so we'd like to have doctors, health care providers, small-business owners, and others contribute to our collection as well. All of your stories count.
Here’s how to do it:
- Join the MyHealthCare group.
- Then post a comment on this article no longer than 200 words describing what Obamacare has done for you.
Our community editors will review the best responses and feature them on the new My HealthCare page. (We reserve the right to edit for style and grammar.)
Now, it's your turn. What has Obamacare done for you?