Fresno, CA: I had lost my teaching position last year due to a clerical error on the end of my university. While I struggled in a demanding position as a long term substitute, I only brought home $800 a month, if I was lucky. I also was living with my boyfriend, and definitely didn't want children. Because of the ACA, I was able to gain access to birth control—the pill and later the NuvaRing. While financially, things have evened out, having access to birth control at no cost has made life easier. There isn't shame, I don't have to stress when emergency surgery has taken any income making birth control unaffordable, and I know that I am able to plan my family. —Kirs O., 27
San Diego, CA: I have been on birth control for about 10 years. When I was younger, my parents did not have insurance so I relied on local community health centers, planned parenthood, and even the University of California, San Diego's student health center for birth control. Getting pregnant at a young age and even now is not in my plans, and being on birth control was and continues to be my way of taking control of my health, my body and my future. I am eternally grateful for these health centers as well as the Family PACT program that was able to supply otherwise costly birth control for free because of my income.
When I first got enrolled into employee-sponsored insurance back in 2013, I no longer had to worry about overpassing the income bracket to get affordable birth control, my insurance covered gynecological visits and the birth control of my choice. If ACA is repealed, not only will millions of once uninsured/now insured and healthy Americans be left without options to treat chronic conditions or even afford to get sick, millions of young men and women will be faced with "pre-existing conditions" will be left without many options for their futures. In years past, an unplanned pregnancy was considered a pre-existing condition, let's not go back to those times. I understand our current house did not agree with the implementation of ACA in the first place, but I beg that they leave is with something better, don't take it away completely.—Romina B.A., 29
San Diego, CA: I used to get menstrual cycles so painful that I often had to miss school several days each month when I got my period. Because of affordable hormonal birth control pills, I was able to regulate my painful periods, clear up my acne, and continue going to school without missing days out of my cycle due to crippling pain.—Rose R., 21
San Francisco, CA: During graduate school I quit my job to focus on my studies. I had paid taxes for 12 years up until then, holding a well-paying professional job. And while I was able to access birth control through basic reproductive health insurance at my educational institution, my other relatively basic health care needs could not be covered under larger providers. Why? Because the ACA had not yet passed and pre-existing conditions could still exclude individuals from coverage.
Years prior I had had a LEEP procedure to remove HPV lesions from my cervix to prevent cancer. Yet, due to the greed of insurance agencies who were unregulated at the time, I was unable to get independent coverage. For a year, I couldn't qualify. Thank goodness for the ACA that eventually kicked in so that I could both succeed in a laborious graduate program, and care for my health. My story is an example of of those "in the middle"—in unique situations that policies do not only account for. People who are underpaid, or underemployed, yet not quite resource constrained "enough" to fall under the FPL. No one should have to choose between health and education. No one should be excluded from new health care because they previously took initiative and cared for their health—despite if that resulted in a diagnosis or not. Without the implementation of the ACA I would have continued to be hung out to dry—being punished for a condition I couldn't control.—Jennifer., 35
San Francisco, CA: I was able to get free birth control pills all throughout college thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Without access to my birth control, I may have become pregnant and would not be in a successful career today. The ACA enabled me to make appropriate family planning decisions and good choices for my future. I still rely on my birth control to maintain control over my body and my future. —Bailey T., 23
Ventura Country, CA: When I was in my early 20's and still on my parent's insurance, I was paying $25/month for the contraceptive pill. I take it for Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, and it is the only thing that regulates my hormones and keeps adult acne at bay. I moved to the UK from 2008-2015, where my prescription ended up being free under the National Health Service. Once I returned to the USA, I was able to get free contraceptive pills for a few months from Planned Parenthood while I searched for work and waited for my insurance to kick in at my new job. Now, through my work insurance plan, my contraceptive pills are $10 for a three month supply! A massive change from the pre-ACA insurance plans! The ACA has made a massive difference in my ability to afford contraception! —Kim S., 32
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