Obamacare a godsend for cancer patients [Letter]

I have a long medical history including multiple bouts of cancer. The removal of life-time caps on insurance coverage is just one of the many reasons I believe we need to keep the Affordable Care Act that is often referred to as "Obamacare." There are thousands, if not millions, of people who have been helped by the ACA since its inception in October 2010, especially children who had cancer in their early years. It is a shame we have not heard more about the benefits rather than just the problems ("Obamacare hurts more than helps," March 16).

Cancer patients across the country deal with a multitude of problems — the ill feeling, the diagnosis, the treatments, the side effects and the fear it will return or that it will take their life. They should not also be burdened with the threat that their insurance company is going to cancel their coverage because their treatment is too expensive or because they have cost the company too much money. Canceling coverage during a life-saving treatment is just bad business! Remember, before ACA, those cancellations by insurance companies happened and we rarely heard about them. Now, that bad business will be illegal. By the way, how many customers pay their premiums that never need catastrophic pay-outs? How much profit do these insurance companies make each year?

I am living proof that because I did have insurance, I was able to get various tests done that found my cancers early. This early detection afforded the doctors the best chance of removing and treating the cancer and saving my life. Without that insurance, without that X-ray or CT scan, I would not be here to tell this story. Thanks to my insurance coverage when I felt the cancer had returned, I was able to go to the doctor and have the necessary tests to debunk my fears. Sadly, on several occasions, my fears were confirmed but, with early stage diagnosis, I survived cancer more than once! These early diagnoses also saved my insurance company money. Treatment was much less intensive because it was caught in the early stage of disease and more drastic procedures were not required.

The ACA will give more people access to these lifesaving tests. With early detection, more lives will be saved. Less drastic measures will not be necessary in many cases. Less heartache will occur from families depleting their life savings, losing their homes as well as losing their loved ones. The ACA, in the long run, will make a positive difference in America.

Are there issues with the ACA that need to be corrected? Yes. Are there many hidden Congressional pork-barrels that need to be eliminated? Yes. Will Congress do the right thing and protect Americans from the ills of our health insurance programs? One can only hope and pray that they will!

Anna Renault, Essex

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