Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to travel to Washington, D.C., and meet with Sen. Susan Collins about the Affordable Care Act, which has made a dramatic impact on the life of my family.

During our meeting, I told Sen. Collins about my son, Sam, who was born with life-threatening medical problems. During his first month of life, his medical bills topped $100,000.

When Sam was born, my husband and I were self-employed as small-business owners and would have been without health insurance if it were not for Obamacare. Thankfully, Sam is now a healthy, happy 2-year-old, and we are forever grateful for the care he received as an infant through the ACA.

I was encouraged that Sen. Collins listened and understood that the Affordable Care Act should not be repealed without a replacement plan. I was also heartened to hear that she plans to guarantee coverage for pre-existing conditions, prohibit lifetime caps and make sure no one is discriminated against because of their age, gender or other circumstances. It’s a testament to her leadership that she took the time to listen to me and promise to make sure my family isn’t hung out to dry.

That’s why repealing the Affordable Care Act would be a bad decision and would be detrimental to my family, and to thousands of families across Maine. I remain anxious but optimistic that my senator will hold the line, and that Mainers and all Americans will continue to have the quality, affordable health care they need.

Alyce Ornella