Graham Cassidy and the ACA

*Every time I used my insurance card, I was grateful for ACA.*

Here’s the letter I sent to Senate Finance Committee opposing the Graham Cassidy repeal.


I’m writing today because my family relies on ACA for quality, affordable healthcare. Because of this, I oppose the Graham Cassidy repeal.

Currently, I work as a freelance editor/writer, and my partner works for a small start-up company. For the last couple of years, we’ve relied on ACA for insurance for our family, which includes an eight-year-old and a four-year-old.

This week, our four-year-old complained about his leg hurting. We thought he might have bumped it, but he hadn’t fallen. Then, he started limping and refused to climb stairs or climb into my SUV. When I attempted to carry him on my hip to give him a break, he yelped and started to sob. I called the pediatrician for an appointment, once I realized that a limp is always something their office recommends having checked out.

I handed over my insurance card when I took him to pediatrician. He sat in my lap while we waited, which is unusual because he’s usually too busy to sit still. The PA looked over his leg, but called in the pediatrician for an evaluation. The doctor explained that he needed x-rays to determine if something was wrong with his hip or if it was toxic synovitis, inflammation of the hip joint that can sometimes occur after another virus.

I handed over my insurance card when we arrived at Radiology Associates for his x-rays. They x-rayed both of his hips for comparison. As we waited longer and longer for the results of his x-ray, I began to worry about what they might have found. Finally, a nurse from the pediatrician’s office called me to explain that they found an anomaly on his left hip, not the one he said was hurting. He now needed an ultrasound too.

I handed over his insurance card once again when we arrived at the hospital for an ultrasound, which was to determine if fluid was gathering in his right hip and to check on the left hip too.

The ultrasound revealed no fluid on the right hip, but the left hip caused the attending doctor concern.

I reminded the pediatrician’s office of our insurance when we arrived the next day for a recheck. The anomaly in his left hip might be Legg-Calve-Perthes disease, which is a childhood disease in which the blood supply is for some reason interrupted. If untreated, the bones in the child’s legs are prone to breaking and not healing properly. If untreated, a child could later develop hip arthritis or hip problems later in life. This could lead to a hip replacement surgery. My kid now has to see a pediatric orthopedist to determine whether he has this disease or not. I’m not sure what treatment would include, but I’m worried that it might be hip surgery.

I gave the info on my insurance card to the pediatric orthopedist’s office when I called to set up my appointment. She reminded that their office was two hours and thirty minutes from where I live, and I explained that I know. But, I had to get an appointment because I can’t risk my smart, fierce and kind kiddo having hip problems now or later.

Every time I used my insurance card, I was grateful for ACA. I was grateful that my family has insurance. I was grateful that my kids won’t go without healthcare because their parents don’t have jobs that come with insurance. I was grateful that they have healthcare. I was grateful that we all have healthcare right now.

Every time I used my insurance card last week, I was terrified too. I was terrified because I wondered how much longer I would have insurance if Graham Cassidy passes. I wondered what would happen if my youngest kid gets labeled with a preexisting condition and what that might mean for him being insured the rest of his life. I was terrified that soon my kids might not get the healthcare they need. I was terrified that millions of Americans would also lose their healthcare too. I was terrified that something we all need might no longer exist.

I’m writing today to oppose Graham Cassidy. I’m writing today to urge you all to oppose Graham Cassidy too.

ACA is not perfect, but it guarantees my family has access to much-needed healthcare. It guarantees that millions of Americans have access.

I would like to see a bipartisan Congressional effort to improve the ACA, not repeal it. I’m sure that millions of Americans agree with me. Will you stand with us? Or will you take our insurance away?


Kelly Baker

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