Jeff Blum (Huffington Post): There are, perhaps, more than 100 million reasons to be thankful for the Affordable Care Act (ACA). I want to mention just two of them.
Recently, thanks to USAction affiliate Iowa Citizen Action Network, we were introduced to Ross Daniels and Amy Ward. Their life – as difficult as it remains – would be in shambles today were it not for the ACA.
One year ago Amy … developed a rare fungal pneumonia called blastomycosis …. Within two days of being admitted to the hospital, she was placed on a ventilator as her lungs broke down. Her kidneys failed and she received dialysis …. She was given approximately one in three chance of survival, optimistic by many estimates.
Amy did survive, with the help of an astonishing array of the most advanced technology, medications, excellent doctors and amazing nurses. Ross watched Amy learn to walk again, and re-learn how to do the most basic activities of a normal life. Throughout this ordeal, there was one thing Ross didn’t have to worry about: their health insurance coverage running out. Because of the ACA – and yes, I will proudly call it Obamacare – Amy’s health insurance company had removed limits on coverage the year before.
….. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, while Amy was fighting for her life, Ross was able to cast aside worries of the potentially devastating impact this might have had on his family’s financial future….
You might remember an article posted here about 10 days, ‘Couple comes face to face with reality of ‘Obamacare’: After more than five weeks on a ventilator, Amy Ward is finally being weaned off it to breathe on her own. She no longer requires dialysis. But a near-fatal infection resulting from a freak accident has left her with a long road of rehab ahead.
In the time he’s spent at his wife’s bedside in a hospital critical care unit, her husband has been able to do a lot of thinking. Ross Daniels, on unpaid family medical leave from his IT job to tend to his wife, has had to face the real possibility that he would lose her, though she’s just 39….
… Daniels has also thought about what would have happened if portions of the new federal health care law had not been in place. His wife’s insurance had a million dollar lifetime cap on benefits. Her current expenses have already exceeded that. One medication costs $1,600 a dose. Without the protection against lifetime limits the new law provides, they would have had to declare bankruptcy.
…. by the time the next president is sworn in, enough people will have experienced the protections and benefits it offers that no elected official would risk his or her standing by rescinding it. That’s the value of first-hand experience, painful as it may be. It brings you closer to the truth than all the political platitudes in the world.
Ross very kindly left a comment under the original post (here), and he came back today with another message:
Thanks so much to all of you for your continued thoughts and prayers. They are are a great source of strength to both of us. Amy continues to get stronger every day and making great steps towards a full recovery.
I simply cannot believe the response that this article has received from so many people. It has helped restore my faith that, as Anne Frank said, people are generally good. This faith had been and continues to be shaken by the support the tea party continues to receive on this, and so many other issues.
What I hope people take away from this article though is not a sob story about what we have been through. Yes, it has been a living hell for me personally, but we are fortunate in that we have excellent insurance. We have the savings so that my leave is not an undue hardship and I will have a job to go back to when this is over. We are just the cautionary tale of”what could have been”. I hope people realize that this story applies to millions of people who are LESS fortunare than we are, as opposed to just about us.
Thanks again to all of you,
Thank you Ross, wishing Amy a speedy return to full health, and wishing you both the happiest of futures. Thank you so much for sharing your story.