Lives hang within the balance as time runs out for motion on medical insurance

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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 insurance cheaper than ever, leading to a record-breaking medical 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 insurance has been through the Reasonably priced 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 selection. After which I got cancer.

It cost a whole lot 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 insurance policy, the Reasonably priced Care Act covered my ruinous expenses after the deductible kicked in. Nevertheless, surviving cancer shouldn’t be low-cost. I still have medical bills every 12 months, as my care team includes multiple specialists for cancer and for long run survivorship. My medical insurance is my lifeline.

If I still had that junk insurance policy, today I can be bankrupt or dead.

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.

Without swift motion from Congress, tens of hundreds of thousands of Americans will face skyrocketing premium increases, pricing them out of medical insurance. Congressional inaction will rob them of live-saving care — during a world pandemic. Many hundreds of thousands 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 couple of days before the Aug. 5 recess, they have 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 12 months.

Republicans have been consistent of their opposition to life-saving access to health care, and have voted against Americans’ health take care of 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 upcoming catastrophe if these medical insurance subsidies expire. President Biden is asking for a renewal of the ACA subsidies within the American Rescue Plan now, Congress must deliver.

American lives hang within the balance — there is no such thing as a time to waste. Too lots of us live in fear of our health care being threatened. Going without insurance shouldn’t be an option when you could 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 inexpensive, starting with renewing the ACA subsidies within the budget reconciliation bill now. We’ll all be health care voters in November, but motion on the advanced premium tax credits must occur now.

About this column

This column was originally published by Colorado Newsline, which is an element of States Newsroom, a network of stories bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Colorado Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Quentin Young for questions: [email protected]. Follow Colorado Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.

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