Like so many people in Maine, I am anxious about the planned “repeal and replace” of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare.”

In 2006, I left private industry to start a business. I applied for new health insurance. I had no major health concerns. Still, I was denied coverage, and was unable to buy health insurance due to two “pre-existing conditions.”

n First, following the death of my infant child, I was mildly depressed and sought counseling. I thought it was a healthy thing to do to get help. The insurance company disagreed.

n The second had to do with an EKG result five years earlier. My cardiologist prescribed neither medication nor follow-up. The issue is common in my family, and always asymptomatic.

We went without insurance for nearly two years. We tried to put some money aside each month for my kids’ check-ups, and luckily, they stayed healthy. I could not afford basic screenings for myself, and the fear of getting sick kept me up nights.

Since the ACA, we have had great insurance. My husband took a fall and was badly injured. He got great care and worked hard to get healthy and back to work. I broke my shoulder, and I could get the physical therapy I needed to regain full function. We all get annual physicals and are healthier now than ever.

Had the ACA not passed, I would have been forced to abandon my small business and go back to private industry simply for health benefits. My situation is not unique.

The president and Congress want to fulfill campaign promises. However, beyond politics, there are real hardworking people, many without benefit of employee-sponsored plans, who need and deserve the peace of mind the ACA has afforded them.

Let’s hope our elected officials remember who we are.

Marilyn Miller