Melissa of knoxville, TN

melissa of knoxville, writes:

I am a 45 year old woman living in Knoxville, who has Multiple Sclerosis. My MS was diagnosed 11 years ago, after a hospital stay that totaled $38,000. Luckily, I had insurance at the time, but quickly realized I would never have the luxury of not having health insurance. MS hits more women than men, it is believed there is a hormonal component to the disease.  As such, there are female specific treatments that need to be covered by insurance. I worked for 6 yrs at Covenant Health until MS made that difficult, I have subsequently lost 2 jobs due to my MS. I am now on disability, but still active in local issues; politically active, showing people how to navigate the system (government, local agencies, etc), and am considered a source of info for many.

I must have health insurance. Period. I have a chronic, debilitating disease, Multiple Sclerosis. Yes, I just got my disability, but Medicare will only cover one MS drug. It is not the one I use. That drug is more expensive than my chosen drug and requires a doctor’s office visit. Besides, there is a two year wait for Medicare after being approved for disability. I can not be without health care for 2 years, nor should I have to. I have worked since I was 16, and I have a right to be able to buy health insurance. The ACA has made that possible, and given me a sense of independence and freedom.

The ACA means I can not be discriminated against for having a chronic disease. I control my own healthcare and not have the added burden of fear and anxiety regarding not having health insurance. Stress is detrimental to MS. Life is hard enough without taking on any extra burdens. I can not get covered if the pre-existing provision is struck down. I will become a burden on the system. Do not repeal the ACA. Do not remove the pre-existing condition clause. Please.

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