Are we still talking about this?


Are we still talking about this? I thought it had already been decided that America is a nation of equal opportunity, a federation united for the common good and a republic for and by the people. Did I miss something?

As a person with type 1 diabetes for nearly my entire life, I am eternally grateful for the ACA (a.k.a. Obamacare). I say that as someone who, just like you, has seen his premium increase considerably since it’s initial implementation.
With each increase, just like you, I’d cringe and scowl. Then I’d think back and recall the many, many, many years and EOB’s that would arrive in the mail, alerting me of my astronomical co-pays, or even worse, a “Termination of Coverage” letter. God forbid a “lapse in coverage,” as that would mean taking insurance companies to court to defend my simple right to be insured.

Before the ACA reform, my pre-existing condition, which reared its ugly head at age 9 at no fault or cause of my own, was considered a “liability.” I, or I should say my mom, was told by a major insurance conglomerate that they were worried about losing money on me, a “high-risk” 9-year-old little boy.

The ACA put all of this worry to rest. Its legislation ensured that someone like me could no longer be denied coverage, nor could I be charged exponentially more on account of my condition. To top it off, it protected us “liabilities” from the fear of losing coverage. [1]

In the time since Obamacare was enacted, I have been able to follow through with my lifelong dream of opening my own recording studio business, one that previously proved impossible due to working full-time for a big business simply to acquire insurance. I have continually worked my butt off to grow the business. Just like most Americans, I believe in the dream this country promises, and I also believe in the hard work involved to reach that dream. This is not a matter of entitlement. This a matter of equal opportunity, of non-discrimination of ANY sort to ensure all citizens can invest in both themselves and their community, thereby reaping the fruits of their labor.

To anyone that has spent a day with a person with type 1 diabetes there is not a moment’s reprieve; not for this person, nor for their close loved ones. As if the constant finger pricks, insulin deliveries, pump changes, low blood sugar frenzies, high blood sugar debilitations, 24-hour attendance, all which ultimately prove pale in the face of this unpredictable disease, weren’t enough, it is yet again coupled with the insurmountable financial fear of losing insurance coverage. We require immense amounts of very expensive technology and medicine just to exist with a compromised quality of life. Even the wealthiest among us would drown in debt if sentenced to a life of “out-of-pocket” expenses accrued by type 1 diabetes.

When ACA came around it made promises. It delivered on some, and faltered on others, but it was a first step, and proved to be a life-enriching move in the right direction. There are over 1.25 million Americans with type 1 diabetes.[2] That’s not even including the other 29 million with other forms of diabetes or citizens suffering from other life-threatening conditions which also place a heavy burden on families.

We know the ACA is not perfect. Not yet. It is merely in its infancy, but its promise gives me hope. It’s a matter of life and death to have affordable access to our daily regimen of medical supplies. We must have the ACA to equally care for the nation.

References –

[1] “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.” United States Government Publishing Office.

[2] “Type 1 Diabetes Facts.” JDRF.

Read This is What Type 1 Diabetes Looks Like by Brett Ryan Stewart.

WRITTEN BY Brett Ryan Stewart , POSTED 02/15/17, UPDATED 10/06/22

Brett Ryan Stewart is a musician, recording engineer and producer at his Nashville-based studio, The Sound Shelter. His work has been utilized by numerous television networks and companies including OWN, Fox Television, A&E, Heineken and Microsoft. He lives with his wife, two cats and an insulin pump.