Meet Alyce

Alyce Ornella's son was born with life threatening medical complications — and her family was able to pay the bills because of their health coverage.

Alyce’s son was born with life threatening medical complications — and her family was able to pay the bills because of their health coverage.

“…the Affordable Care Act has made such a difference in my life. Two years ago, my husband and I were expecting our first child. We had been self-employed as small business owners and could not afford health insurance. When the Affordable Care Act passed, we found an affordable plan on the marketplace. All of my pre-natal care was covered. The pregnancy was completely normal and uneventful as expected.

“But the unexpected did happen. No one wants to face the devastation of their baby being born with life-threatening medical problems, but that is exactly what happened to us. Our son Sam was born with multiple congenital birth defects, none of which could be detected before he was born. When he was rushed by ambulance to Maine Medical Center at two days old, the pediatric surgeons there saved his life. His medical bills in his first month of life topped $100,000.

“Sam is now a thriving, happy two year old. However, his chronic medical conditions require a team of pediatric specialists caring for him throughout childhood. The protections that the ACA has provided ensures that we have been able to get him the tests, medicines, therapies, and doctor visits he needs to stay healthy.

“An unforeseen medical crisis can happen to anyone. We didn’t think it could happen to us, but when it did, the ACA was there to protect us from bankruptcy and immense medical debt. It would have been impossible to navigate my son’s medical issues without health insurance. No one should face financial ruin because they need medical care. No one should go without the medical care they need.

“It would be irresponsible for our representatives in Washington to pull the rug out from under thousands of people in Maine, and millions of people around the country, who have health care because of the Affordable Care Act. I know how it would affect my son’s life if that were to happen. We need a common sense plan to ensure that everyone, including the most vulnerable, can see a doctor when they need to. Creating uncertainty around access to medical care is not the way to build strong, stable communities. As Mainers, we must be able to count on our representatives to uphold the protections and access that the Affordable Care Act has provided.

—Alyce

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