Letters to the Editor

We need protections for pre-existing conditions

In the Belleville News-Democrat’s article “Where does your congressman stand on repealing, replacing the Affordable Care Act?” Representative Mike Bost’s spokesman said that the Congressman is “still waiting to see exactly how the final version will affect Southern Illinois.” I can tell him how the bill will affect my children.

Ten years ago (May 3), my husband died of pancreatitis, caused by a gallstone that escaped into his pancreas while he hesitated to have his gallbladder removed. The reason for his tragic hesitation? Back then, before the ACA, we feared that using health insurance could cause us to lose it. His health care was already unaffordable because of a pre-existing condition: high-school acne. He chose to wait for financial reasons, with disastrous consequences.

Congress is considering dismantling protections for pre-existing conditions by passing this responsibility off federal shoulders and onto state governments. If this happens, I will know that my children’s future ability to buy health care will be dependent on their history of minor ailments like acne. This is chilling. I implore Rep. Bost to stand firm in his intention to protect his constituents, and vote no. The quality of my children’s health care, and even their lives, may depend upon it.

Sarah Borgstede, Belleville