LTE: Paulsen’s vote against ACA bad for Minnesota

To the editor,

Recently, my congressman, Erik Paulsen, took the first vote needed to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). He took this vote despite there being no replacement plan in place to provide health insurance to the 20 million Americans who will lose their insurance if this happens. I worry that Congressman Paulsen does not understand the positive impact the ACA has had on many of his constituents.

In 2012, I left a job that I did not like, though it had good insurance, to become a nanny, a job I love, because I assumed I could get an individual insurance policy. However, I was denied due to pre-existing conditions (past kidney stones and PCOS) and height-to-weight ratio insurers deemed unacceptable, though I was otherwise healthy. Minnesota’s high-risk pool’s premiums were far too expensive for limited benefits. In fact, it was so costly that it was cheaper for me to pay for COBRA benefits through my former employer, which was still ridiculously expensive. Fortunately, soon after my COBRA benefits ended, the ACA was in place and I secured an affordable plan through MNSure.

Because of the ACA we were also able to insure my husband, who had been uninsured for years due to the cost, and now our two year old daughter. I know the premiums are too high, and that the ACA has its problems, but I would like to see those problems fixed, rather than repealing the entire thing. Those of us with pre-existing conditions depend on the ACA.

My husband and I are hardworking Americans, and like many Americans we live pay to pay check. Prior to the ACA, medical costs were the biggest driver of bankruptcies in the US. Without adequate and affordable insurance, we are all just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy.

My husband and I are also voters and Congressman Paulsen should know that if he votes to repeal ACA without a replacement plan in place that keeps its protections, he will have lost our vote for good.

Sunshine Hedlund
Maple Plain