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tara-bidenLast week, I attended a MomsRising Healthcare House Party near Dallas with special guest, 2nd Lady, Dr. Jill Biden!

I was invited to the event because of my personal dealings with healthcare. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2012 and while I am covered under my husband’s health plan I have still benefited from changes that the ACA has instituted. I can no longer be denied insurance for a pre-existing condition and I no longer have to worry about hitting my lifetime max (which in 18 months of treatment I had already met more than half that amount). For me, that meant that if I were to get diagnosed with cancer again, my insurance would likely have ran out in the middle of treatment. The ACA law protects me from having that happen in the future.

The house party was great! I met quite a few new people, all with different stories. It was nice to hear how the changes in healthcare have affected others in the Dallas community in a positive way. Many of the stories I hear in the media about ‘Obamacare’ are often very negative, but there were so many positive stories at the house party! DHHS was also there, and they helped answer questions that people had about the changes, and about tax breaks that are available to help make the healthcare plans more affordable.

Of course, the highlight of the evening was a visit from Dr. Jill Biden. She shared a few personal stories, including some experiences she has had with the her students. After speaking for a few minutes, she wanted to hear from us. She wanted to know how the ACA has affected us. I had the chance to talk to her about my history with breast cancer, and the relief I feel, knowing that I won’t be denied coverage or run out of coverage. Before she left, she came over to personally thank me for being there to talk to her, and wished me well.

After hearing all the stories people shared, I was shocked and surprised by the people that lost insurance coverage before the ACA was enacted, including a young child with cancer. It was time for the government to stand up to insurance companies and let them know that they can’t do this anymore!

This event was very empowering. I also feel like this event made me feel listened to, and important. This plan certainly isn’t perfect yet but with the help of people like myself sharing stories about what is good as well as bad about the current state of healthcare, we will be able to have a hand in making it better—making it something that is helpful and affordable. I feel like I am more knowledgeable about different ways that the ACA protects people, and I learned about the availability of tax breaks to help people pay for their plans. That isn’t something I was aware of before. I feel that I am now able to answer questions and help others that aren’t sure what to do regarding their insurance needs.

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