Why I’m A Health Care Voter: My Brain’s Pre-Existing Condition

I was born with a rare, life-threatening genetic mutation — the ultimate “pre-existing” condition. I’m 30, but my condition was only diagnosed just over a year ago.

It never occurred to me that I’d be so publicly talking about my own health care, but so much is on the line right now. Not only my health, but probably yours or that of someone you know.

I’m becoming a health care activist because too many politicians, like Congressman Vern Buchanan, have repeatedly voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and support the replacement bill that would have taken away health care from people like me.

If Buchanan had his way, I would be ineligible for insurance coverage due to my pre-existing condition, which is not contagious nor anyone’s fault. I didn’t inherit it. It  happened before I was born, and thus far has required two brain surgeries.

Since my diagnosis I’ve struggled with the tremendous costs related to my diagnosis, surgeries and inability to work. Earlier this year, I went to Buchanan’s district office in Sarasota for help, because I’ve been attempting to negotiate a health care system that is so broken I have a two-year wait before I can even see a judge who can reverse my denied claim for disability assistance.

I didn’t get to see Congressman Buchanan then. If I had, I would have told him about my situation, and that his health care votes could return exclusions for pre-existing conditions that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) outlawed.

Buchanan has not held a town hall in nearly 600 days, which is longer than I have even known about my “pre-existing” condition. I want him to know the impact his votes have on people like me. I only wish he wanted to hear about that. That’s why I’m a Health Care Voter.