WELLNESS
01/12/2017 07:11 pm ET Updated Jan 12, 2017

Here's What Repealing Obamacare Means To Those Who Need It Most

"I'm in tears over this."

Senate Republicans took the first big step toward repealing Obamacare on Thursday, and for many Americans, that could be a literal death sentence.

At the suggestion of educator and activist Brittany Packnett, Americans who rely on Obamacare are taking to Twitter with heartbreaking testimonies of how the health care act kept them and their loved ones alive ― and how its repeal would strip them of their medications, treatments, money and even their homes. 

”[T]his whole thing is terrifying,” Ekuwa Ansah of Atlanta, Georgia, told The Huffington Post. She responded to Packnett’s call for tweets with details about her 13-year-old daughter, who is fighting cancer and relies on the ACA for continued chemotherapy, physical therapy and doctor’s visits. 

“[A]s a single mom, I already work a ton of hours to make ends meet,” she said. “Now I’ll have to worry about how I’m going to care for her medically from a financial standpoint. How am I going to afford necessary medical care for her? It’s scary. It’s my baby. I’m her mom. I’m supposed to provide for her and protect her. But I can’t give what I don’t have.”

Since the ACA became law in 2010, around 20 million previously uninsured Americans have gained health coverage, President Barack Obama said last spring. 

The uninsured rate among Hispanics fell from 41.8 percent to 30.5 percent, according to a report from the Department of Health and Human Services. Among working-age black Americans, it fell from 22.4 percent to 10.6, and among whites, it fell from 14.3 percent to 7 percent.

Victoria Fierce, a transgender woman living in the San Francisco Bay Area who responded to Packnett’s call for tweets, said she can’t imagine life without the medical care she receives through the ACA.

“If I ever run out of hormones, I get incredibly depressed, suicidal, and otherwise not wanting to keep living,” she told HuffPost. 

“If I didn’t have the [ACA], I wouldn’t be able to live with myself,” she continued. “My depression would come back as I’d no longer be able to afford my hormone medications. Suicidal thoughts weren’t far away.”

Many others cited how the ACA has provided them with life-saving mental health services. 

With the House vote on funding for Obamacare scheduled for Friday, Packnett urged people to call their elected representatives and tell them how important the ACA is to them. 

“Don’t be silent. We need your truth,” Packnett wrote.  

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
So Far, These Are The GOP's Best Alternatives To Obamacare
CONVERSATIONS