{Election 2016} Your Voice Is Not Lost

For some it’s just an election. For some it’s a chance to make a choice and to shape our country. For some it is our duty to vote while others say “ahh someone else will do it so I don’t have to.” 

I know it’s over. The media keeps telling me that. I know it’s a new day, but this new day is filled with uncertainty. The country I believed in is no longer the same as it was on Tuesday morning. You say there is nothing I or anyone can do. But there is, we all have a voice, a voice that can change the world around us. 

In 2009 I became a pre-existing condition. I paid more for insurance than my healthy counterparts. The law allowed this. In fact I was grateful because the law also said that they could deny me coverage based on my pre-existing condition. When I switched to contracting I couldn’t afford the insurance premiums so I went without. Which was on my part a costly mistake. 

I was angry and heartbroken so I did what any American would do, I got involved. I started talking to my law makers, I joined advocacy groups that allowed me to use my voice. I started raising awareness and speaking all over the country about the importance of affordable healthcare. My part was tiny but it was indeed a part in what we now know as the Affordable Healthcare act that changed my life for the better. My outspokenness earned me an invitation to Washington D.C. to give a speech on the capital steps right along side Nancy Pelosi and other members of congress. To them I mattered I am the American they were fighting for. 

Trump wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare. He sees it as a failure and not a success. To some it is a failure but to the people who are benefiting from it, it is a godsend. The rising cost of health care should not be blamed on the affordable care act, look deeper more people than ever have access to care which means insurance companies are paying out more and taking less in. Which in turn causes them to raise the premiums and copays for services. 

Repealing the Affordable Care Act will not stop the rising costs instead it will make care inaccessible for people just like me. Millions of Americans will be cut off from the care that they so desperately need to survive and that they cannot afford without the ACA. My fear is that my health care will once again become inaccessible. Millions of Americans are sharing this fear right now. We are waiting for this new day to unfold with abated breath, our lives they are on the line. 

This country can either thrive on fear or it can rise up and greet it. One thing I do know is that the grass roots of this country are strong and just like before we can make a difference. Start speaking to your law makers tell them why the affordable care act is important and how it benefits those in your life. Start talking to your neighbors let them know that love trumps hate. Start making a difference, set an example for the next generation. Show the world the we are better than Trump’s words and actions. We are America and as long as we love her she will never steer us wrong. 

{Affordable Care Act} D.C. Meet AJ

There are moments where I have to pinch myself to make sure that I really am living this life. I went from survivor to advocate, to spokeswoman. Last Thursday I received an email from the American Heart Association’s National Advocacy office inviting me to Washington D.C. This just wasn’t any old regular invite, this this was an opportunity of a life time. I was invited to Washington D.C. by House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. When Nancy Pelosi invites you to D.C., you go, YOU GO and I did just that.


I went and I became a part of history. I was invited to DC to speak at a press conference celebrating the 5th anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. The conference was held on the Capital Steps and it was organized by Leader Pelosi and members of the Democratic Caucus. Together we celebrated the Act and the fact that is working for millions of Americans. I am just one of the millions of Americans who benefited from the Affordable Care Act.

This was my moment to put a face to a cause. Words cannot describe the impact the Affordable Care Act has made on my life. As a Pulmonary Embolism / Stroke survivor I can no longer be denied coverage or be forced to pay more because of my medical history. In the eyes of the law I am equal to my healthy peers and because of this I am able to afford quality insurance and put my health first.


Yes, I found myself struggling to choose between paying my bills or paying for the medical care that I needed. For 18 months I went without health insurance and for part of that time I was only making $12 an hour. My most expensive prescription was $287.00 a month and I tried skipping it for a while, that just turned into a very expensive disaster. No one should ever have to choose between life saving care and bills. I never for one thought I would ever be in that position, but at 28 I found myself there. I found myself struggling to stay a float and was ashamed that I could not afford the health care I desperately needed.


Today I am no longer ashamed, I am empowered. I have an insurance card in my pocket and I owe it all to the Affordable Care Act. I no longer had to settle for a job, instead I got to hold out for the one I wanted. I no longer have to check the couch for spare change just to pick up my prescription. Instead I walk right into Target and pay only $20.00 for a brand name drug. I can afford to go to the doctor and I am now getting routine care. I can for the first time in a very long time, put my health first. Life is not worth living if you do not have your health.