I think everyone can agree that right now, times are tough. Coronavirus has affected millions of Americans --- most people either know someone who has gotten sick, lost a job or lost a loved one.
During this unprecedented time, everyone must stay cautious. Especially people like me, who live with a pre-existing condition. Arizonans with pre-existing conditions are especially vulnerable, which is why it’s so important to have access to quality, affordable healthcare.
In 2019, I was diagnosed with an extremely rare blood disorder and now need monthly chemotherapy infusions to survive. My diagnosis, IgG4-RD, causes my immune system to mistake my organs, especially my lungs, as a foreign substance that shouldn’t be there. It’s over-producing the antibody IgG4 to fight what it believes are antigens, but what are really my vital organs.
Because of the rarity of my case, my healthcare journey has been immensely long. It took years of inconclusive testing, what feels like hundreds of appointments, and many doctors to finally get a diagnosis. While frustrating, it was also extremely expensive.
Under the Affordable Care Act, I was having trouble getting the care I needed. Because my case was rare, I needed the best care I could get, so I went to Mayo Clinic to get help. I was on the most expensive plan, but yet it didn’t cover anything. The treatment I needed wasn’t covered at Mayo, because I didn’t fit into the one-size-fits-all of government-run healthcare.
I didn’t have coverage for life-saving medicine under ACA, and it was getting too expensive. I got a new job with new insurance that allowed me to get the specialized treatment I needed at the Mayo Clinic. When your life is on the line, you want to be able to choose your doctors, medicine and the care you are receiving.
I need control over my healthcare, which is why I support Martha McSally. I know Martha will fight to protect people like me, and make sure every Arizonan, including those of us with pre-existing conditions, has access to quality, affordable health care. Martha McSally is fighting to lower the cost of healthcare by taking on Big Pharma and China to bring production of prescription drugs home for safer, more affordable drugs.
As someone whose life depends on the quality of care and specialized treatments I’m getting, I need Martha McSally in the U.S. Senate. I know she would never support the government takeover of healthcare, which would deprive those of us with pre-existing conditions the freedom to choose the best doctors for specialized care. I have had to advocate for myself throughout this entire process. Part of advocating for my health will be voting for Martha McSally.
I’m so afraid of Mark Kelly and Joe Biden’s plan to put government in charge of our healthcare. Their dangerous plan could take away our choice of doctors and threaten the quality of care I depend on. It’s hurting those of us with pre-existing conditions the most.
It’s shameful that Mark Kelly and Democrats say Martha doesn’t support pre-existing conditions because she voted to repeal the ACA. I witnessed firsthand how terrible the healthcare coverage and cost was on ACA, doing extra harm to those of us with pre-existing conditions. It didn’t help me at all, because my diagnosis didn’t fit into the one-size-fits-all government-run healthcare.
There are better and more affordable ways to provide health insurance and protect people. Several Democratic candidates for president also proposed repealing and replacing the ACA. Using this logic, they also oppose protecting people with pre-existing conditions. The Democrats need to stop lying, the ACA just doesn’t work for everyone and we shouldn’t have government telling us it does.
If you are like me and want control over your healthcare, vote for Martha McSally.
Editor's note: Whitney Lawrence is a resident of Queen Creek. An ad she is in is playing in the Phoenix and Tucson markets until the end of the month. It is here.