My family’s whole world was turned upside down in September 2015 when my husband, Ed, survived a massive stroke caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Doctors knew that he had HCM beforehand and they had taken preventive measures, including placing a pacemaker in. But still, nothing could have prepared us for what happened next.
Erich was born with Downs Syndrome and a severe intellectual disability. At 20 years old, he functions at roughly the level of a second grader. While many young adults with Downs have been able to integrate into society and take on employment, Erich’s disability is so profound that he requires full-time care and he will never be able to live independently.
Before the Affordable Care Act, there were times in my life when I had health insurance and other times when I did not. Some employers would offer me a plan, and then if I switched jobs, I’d lose it. I tried to apply for coverage on the individual market, but insurers would deny me when I admitted that I had occasional migraines and sinus issues.
Medicaid often provides life-saving care for children who are born with congenital defects. This California family credits Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid, with saving their son in the days after his birth. If Medicaid is cut, services like these will no longer be available for families like theirs.
If Congress repeals the Affordable Care Act and cuts Medicaid, millions of people will lose their health coverage. Celeste from National City, Michigan, and her husband are two of them. She shared her health care story with us.