I am not a pre-existing condition.

I am a hardworking, professional, self-sufficient woman who grew up in Maine. I have never gone a day without having health insurance. I’ve paid premiums to almost every health insurance company in Maine.

In 2013, days before my 46th birthday, I was diagnosed with follicular lymphoma, an incurable blood cancer. Little did I know that this diagnosis would change me and my sense of self and continue to threaten my quality of life.

Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could refuse to insure people with certain pre-existing conditions. Others would insure you at higher rates than people in the same demographic without pre-existing conditions.

ACA protection for those with pre-existing conditions is being threatened in the courts and may be overturned. This policy would apply not only to health plans purchased on the exchange, it may apply to employer-based insurance, too. It would impact those leaving a large employer to start their own business, and those who are too sick to continue to work and must buy an individual policy … possibly me.

All Americans deserve health care coverage with reasonable premiums, protections for pre-existing conditions and health benefits with an adequate network of providers.

Cynthia Pernice


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