For many Kentuckians, the Affordable Care Act’s existence is a matter of life or death. In the Bluegrass state, 486,000 people would lose their health care if the ACA is repealed — but Kentuckians are fighting tooth and nail to ensure they are saving their care.
On January 27, we stopped in Lexington to hear from folks like Roberta Burnes, who has lived in Lexington for 24 years.
“I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis about 15 years ago and it is a chronic illness that you can never be cured from. When I was diagnosed, I was very close to being permanently in a wheelchair. I was extremely disabled and in pain all of the time. There were a lot of things that I was not able to do.
At the time, they were working on an experimental drug and my doctors put me on a trial. The drug worked miracles. I was on private insurance because I was self-employed, so when my first bill arrived and it was $1,200—it’s now $1,800 a month for the drugs. To afford it, I had to get on my husband’s health plan through his employer.
Since I was diagnosed, I was able to secure full-time employment and then I was laid off. I had to deal with stockpiling my medication and reducing my dosage, all while trying to get a job.
I feel incredibly fortunate right now that I do have a job and my health insurance can’t kick me off my plan because of my pre-existing condition. Right now, I feel safe, but I know that there are so many people who are wedded to their jobs because of a chronic condition in their family or themselves. They cannot afford to lose that coverage.”
On Saturday, we were joined by Congressman Yarmuth, Kentucky legislators, medical experts, and folks from the across the city in Louisville.
While there, State Representative McKenzie Cantrell made the best case to save the Affordable Care Act.
"I do not want to be part of deciding who lives and who dies in this state. If the ACA is repealed that's what we'll be doing."—@mckcantrell
— Save My Care Bus (@savemycarebus) January 28, 2017
The Save My Care bus is crossing the border and heading to Ohio next. Find out when we’ll be in a city near you here.