Why we need to Save our Health Care: Stories from Oregonians

Marlene from Portland – Marlene’s Story:

Marlene was employed at a plasma donation center in the 1980’s.  During this work, she sustained a couple of needle stick injuries for which she was subsequently screened for HIV and found to be negative. In 2010, her teenage son became ill with pancreatitis for which he had to be hospitalized. During the hospitalization, he was tested and diagnosed with Hepatitis C.  Marlene was then tested and found that she had contracted Hepatitis C, presumably from the needle sticks.  Soon after her son’s pancreatitis, Marlene became very ill as well.  She had to leave work and was eventually hospitalized in 2013 at OHSU where she had to undergo a liver transplant.  Only one month later, her son became very ill once more and was hospitalized in the intensive care unit at OHSU along with her.  It was determined that he also required a liver transplant.  Both mother and son are the successful recipients of donor livers and have been able to go back to college.  

Marlene would not have been able to obtain insurance coverage without the ACA and says today that without the ACA, she and her son would be dead.  They both continue to require very expensive post-transplant medications that are paid for by their Marketplace plans. If the ACA is repealed, she does not know how they will possibly be able to be covered with their conditions or, if they can get covered, how they will ever be able to afford it.   


Martha from Sisters:

Martha writes:

“Do not scrap the ACA! My husband and I have had to purchase our health insurance since 2009. Because I have diabetes and asthma my choices were severely limited. Even though our retirement income does not allow us to get a subsidy, our ability to have a variety of plans to choose from since the ACA passed has been a life saver - literally!”


Lisa from Wilsonville:

Lisa writes:

“I have a special needs adult daughter. If the ACA is repealed we lose funding that directly impacts her programs, her respite care, her Medicaid, and I no longer get support to take care of my daughter. I just want my voice to be heard.

“As a great nation, we should be taking care of our most vulnerable. It's not a privilege, it's a right.”


Gloria from Portland:

Gloria writes:

“I am a cancer researcher at OHSU and a pediatric cancer survivor. Prior to the ACA, I was turned down three times for different ‘pre-existing conditions;’ my cancer, my depression and not fitting BMI standards. 

“Now I work in OHSU’s bone marrow transplant programs and I worry about the repeal of Medicare and Medicaid, as well as the ACA. Under Medicare, patients can receive funding for their transplant as part of a clinical trial that ALSO helps with our research in using transplants for curative purposes. 

“Lives as well as the fight against cancer DEPEND on studies like what I work on.”


Oregonian from Salem:

She writes:

“I am writing you concerning the upcoming healthcare reform legislation and the possible repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare; as well as possible limitations to women's health care.

“I am 34 years old and married. I currently take birth control, not only for family planning, but to help with migraines. Without the 13-week cycle I am currently on, I'd have frequent migraines. 

“As you may know, migraines can be debilitating, needing doctor prescribed medication to treat on the onset of an attack. 

“I have found that my migraines are worse during my menstrual cycle; a few times I have had a migraine for six straight days due to my period. This is why I rely on a 13-week cycle birth control prescription, because it helps lessen the frequency and strength of my migraine attacks. Through my current employer, I have health insurance. My health plan does cover birth control 100%, which helps keep me healthy. 

“On Nov. 13, 2016, Speaker Paul Ryan refused to say whether or not birth control will remain free. This all causes me worry about my right as a woman to choose my own health care.”


Lora from Portland:

Lora writes:

“I write to urge you to continue your support of the ACA. First, I believe that the ACA benefits the country as a whole, providing affordable health insurance to so many who would otherwise be uninsured. Second, as a newly minted entrepreneur, I personally will be affected by repeal or alteration of the ACA. After over 20 years of state government service, in 2015 I decided to take the risk to leave my employment to launch my own business. The availability of affordable health insurance was a key factor in my decision. And, even with the ACA, health insurance is still my largest business expense. If the ACA is repealed or substantially altered, I may have no choice but to close my business. Thank you for supporting small business people like me, who need the ACA in order to survive.”