Living with preexisting conditions, the ACA threw me a lifeline. We need Joe Biden to save it.
The following is an opinion piece.
When I was born prematurely, I weighed only 1 pound, 12 ounces. I had a tracheostomy for three years and a feeding tube for two and a half. At the age of 8, I was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and placed on the Autism spectrum.
Growing up, I was lucky to be able to depend on the health care provided by my father’s job at General Electric. And when I turned 26, I switched to the insurance provided by my own job. With access to the care that I needed, I was able to live the full life that my parents feared might be out of reach when I was born: I pursued an education, got involved in my community, and didn’t need to worry about how I was going to pay for my next doctor’s appointment or prescription.
Then, the pandemic hit.
Like so many Arizonans, I lost my job. And with that, I also lost the health care I’ve relied on my entire life — right in the middle of a global health crisis.
But when I needed it most, the Affordable Care Act threw me a lifeline. Living with preexisting conditions can make shopping for coverage incredibly stressful, but with the ACA marketplace I got peace of mind knowing that I wouldn’t be denied because of the health issues I was born with. I was able to focus on finding a new job — and most importantly, on staying healthy.
“But when I needed it most, the Affordable Care Act threw me a lifeline.”
In these uncertain times — especially as COVID-19 cases start to rise again here in Arizona and across the country — there’s enough for us to worry about. On top of the many other things that keep us up at night, no one should have to agonize over whether or not they can afford a doctor, or their medication, or a lifesaving operation for their child. And certainly, no one should be trying to take those options off the table altogether.
But that’s exactly what Donald Trump wants to do. In the middle of a pandemic, he wants to strike down the Affordable Care Act and with it, critical health care protections for millions of Americans — including the over 2.8 million Arizonans living with pre-existing conditions like me. In Trump’s America, affordable and reliable health care is a privilege, not a right.
That’s why we need Joe Biden.
Joe Biden believes exactly the opposite of Donald Trump: that health care is a right, not a privilege. That’s why instead of coming after the ACA and allowing insurance companies to discriminate against Arizonans like me, he’s going to strengthen and build on its protections. He’s going to lower the cost of coverage and prescription drugs. And no matter what life throws at you, he’s going to make sure you can get insured.
“Joe Biden believes exactly the opposite of Donald Trump: that health care is a right, not a privilege.”
Whether the challenges you face are visible or invisible, whether you’re born with them or not, Joe Biden wants you to feel secure knowing that reliable and affordable coverage is always within reach — so that you can focus on living a full and vibrant life. And that’s the kind of empathy and leadership we need.
The choice in this election could not be clearer. When I see Donald Trump and Joe Biden, I see two different scenes, two different people, and two different parties. But I only see one leader.
So as soon as I got my ballot, I proudly cast my vote for Joe Biden. And I hope you will too.
The deadline to register to vote in Arizona is October 5, and the last day to request a mail-in ballot is October 23. Early voting begins in the state October 7. Make a safe and secure plan to vote by visiting IWillVote.com or VoyAvotar.com.