As someone whose job it is to enroll uninsured citizens in health insurance marketplace plans made possible by the Affordable Care Act, I’m deeply concerned that the Supreme Court may soon strike down a key provision of the law, effectively ending Obamacare.

I know some people want that to happen, but as someone who has helped hundreds of Mainers either enroll in the ACA or navigate the marketplace, I know firsthand the suffering that would follow a court decision against the ACA, leaving thousands of Mainers without the subsidies that make insurance affordable.

I enrolled house-cleaners, waitstaff and nannies earning $15,000 a year who bought insurance plans with affordable deductibles and co-pays through Anthem, Maine Community Health Options or Harvard Pilgrim.

Hospital stays range in cost from hundreds of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some people aren’t aware that when hospitals offer charity care, this isn’t insurance – it’s free services. Those who have insurance cover the costs, because our premiums go up.

Many people I enrolled were getting insurance for the first time because they couldn’t afford it without subsidies. They were proud to no longer rely on hospitals for charity.

I enrolled someone who previously had a co-pay of $16,000 for an $80,000 life-saving medication; they are now able to afford it with their insurance for $400. I worked with people who couldn’t get on transplant lists for a liver or heart because they weren’t insured. Now they are covered. It’s cruel and fiscally irresponsible to deprive people of these opportunities.

The law isn’t perfect – like most huge feats, it needs tweaking. As far as “our rights” and being “forced” to get insurance: It’s my right not to have to pay for someone else’s decision to not be insured. I end up covering their costs.

Nicole Petit

Portland