Letter to the Editor: Sen. Tammy Baldwin will ‘fight for my affordable health care’

The Affordable Care Act is a topic on many people’s minds. It is often discussed in ideological terms without consideration to the lives affected. It has become a partisan game where the political winners and losers appear to take precedence over the people directly affected by the Affordable Care Act and healthcare in general.

Well, I know one senator for whom this is not a game. That is why I support Senator Tammy Baldwin for re-election.

Why? Well, the Affordable Care Act is not hypothetical for me. I broke my hip and ankle in a serious car accident on Feb. 20, 2017, when I was living in Texas. I had other health issues related to the accident, including respiratory distress syndrome, which required me to be on a ventilator for several days, a blood clot, and sepsis. It was a touch-and-go situation with respect to my survival. I spent two weeks in the hospital and then two weeks at a rehabilitation facility. After my discharge, I underwent additional, extensive physical therapy at the Good Shepherd Institute of Healthy Living here in Longview. I have now recovered, and I am grateful to all my dedicated medical providers.

The total amount of my medical bills is $450,000. My out of pocket for my ACA exchange plan is $3,500.  Needless to say, I am very grateful for the security that the ACA has provided me.

The ACA has allowed me to have the recovery and treatment that I need. It has given me peace of mind that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I am eternally grateful to have this insurance, which aided me considerably in my recovery.

And millions of others are grateful for their coverage. For many, it has literally been the difference between life and death. It certainly was in my case.

There are those who look at the people who may lose their insurance as a number. Well, there are names and faces behind those numbers. There are families behind those numbers. There is a moral compass behind those numbers. For me, one person losing his or her insurance is one too many.

My story is not the only one. I know many who have seen the benefits of the ACA. I am proud to have worked to get the ACA passed in the first place. Back in 2010, I had insurance before the ACA, so it didn’t have as direct an impact on me at that time. Today, it does. I worked on the ACA because I felt that it was important for all Americans to have health coverage. We have made significant progress in the right direction on that front. And I have no intention of going backward.

People are making their voices heard on how the ACA has helped them. I’m just one of the many. And I’m proud to do so.

I support keeping the Affordable Care Act. When I hear Republicans talk about eliminating the ACA, I fear losing my health insurance. I fear potentially having a pre-existing condition (blood clot). I’m scared of having a lifetime cap, which I would be almost halfway to reaching because of this accident alone.

Why should I be scared? Why should I worry about my security? I have done nothing wrong. Why should millions suffer so that the wealthiest 1 percent get a tax cut that they don’t need?

Today, I live in Wisconsin. And I am proud to call Tammy Baldwin my senator. I know she will fight for my health care. I know she will fight for us. I know that the fight is personal for her.

That is why I am proud to support Tammy for re-election this November.

Vik Verma of Merrill

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