Five years ago I used to be diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Yet I’m the lucky one. I could afford to get treatment.
Too many individuals in America don’t have the health care they need, even today. The 2021 American Rescue Plan included subsidies to make medical health insurance cheaper than ever, leading to a record-breaking medical health insurance enrollment of 14.5 million Americans for 2022.
The expiration of those crucial, live-saving subsidies is correct across the corner. And unless renewed, voters will receive news of their 2023 premium hikes right before the November midterms.
I’m a small business owner, and my medical health insurance has been through the Inexpensive Care Act ever because it was an option. Before the ACA, I used to have junk insurance. There wasn’t any higher option for small business owners and freelancers. I took my probabilities, because I had no other alternative. After which I got cancer.
It cost a whole bunch of 1000’s of dollars to avoid wasting my life, to pay for the six months of chemotherapy and month of radiation treatments I needed to remove the malignant tumors throughout my body. If I still had that junk insurance policy, today I can be bankrupt or dead.
But as an alternative, I could afford to be in remission. Because I used to be diagnosed and treated after I had an ACA medical health insurance policy, the Inexpensive Care Act covered my ruinous expenses after the deductible kicked in. Nonetheless, surviving cancer is just not low cost. I still have medical bills every yr, as my care team includes multiple specialists for cancer and for long run survivorship. My medical health insurance is my lifeline.
I didn’t qualify for subsidies in 2017, but thankfully I could afford the out of pocket cost of a subsidized ACA plan. Many Americans can’t.
If I still had that junk insurance policy, today I can be bankrupt or dead.
Without swift motion from Congress, tens of tens of millions of Americans will face skyrocketing premium increases, pricing them out of medical health insurance. Congressional inaction will rob them of live-saving care — during a worldwide pandemic. Many tens of millions of Americans will face lifelong medical conditions based on COVID-19 alone.
Senators are officially back of their offices, following a two-week break. As they set their agenda for the previous few days before the Aug. 5 recess, they need to prioritize a renewal of the Obamacare subsidies in any upcoming negotiations on a budget reconciliation bill. The deadline for a budget bill is Sept. 30, but insurance firms are already pricing of their increases now for next yr.
Republicans have been consistent of their opposition to life-saving access to health care, and have voted against Americans’ health look after years. They’ll not act to shore up the ACA in a bipartisan manner. So all 50 Senate Democrats and a majority of House Democrats must band together to avoid the approaching catastrophe if these medical health insurance subsidies expire. President Biden is looking for a renewal of the ACA subsidies within the American Rescue Plan now, Congress must deliver.
American lives hang within the balance — there isn’t a time to waste. Too a lot of us live in fear of our health care being threatened. Going without insurance is just not an option when you will have a chronic disease or condition, or the potential for cancer or a heart attack or a stroke returning.
Please contact your senators and representatives today to push them to make health care finally reasonably priced, starting with renewing the ACA subsidies within the budget reconciliation bill now. We are going to all be health care voters in November, but motion on the advanced premium tax credits must occur now.
This commentary was originally published by Colorado Newsline, a States Newsroom affiliate.