Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Through the ACA

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness Through the ACA
For U.S. citizens, open enrollment for the health insurance marketplaces began this month. Under the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), people can sign up for coverage until Dec. 15. Before former President Barack Obama's healthcare law passed in 2010, I was denied coverage because of my chronic diseases. This is why I passionately advocate for affordable and accessible healthcare. In February 2003, I lost my graphic design job. I was able to remain insured under COBRA while I freelanced and looked for work. I was making a decent living as an independent contractor and considered doing it full time. But I would need individual health coverage. Every insurance company I applied to denied me because of my pre-existing condition. My only option was to join Texas’ high-risk pool for uninsurable individuals. But when I tried, I was told there was a waiting list. With my COBRA running out, I had no choice but to accept a position as an online banking assistant at a 50 percent pay cut just to get health insurance. With my advertising background, I eventually became the bank’s assistant vice president of marketing. But in November 2008, the bank failed and was closed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. I stayed on as a federal contractor for almost a year as the bank transitioned assets to other financial institutions. By the end of 2009, I was freelancing and paying COBRA premiums once again. Shortly thereafter, the ACA became law. I accepted a full-time teaching position with excellent health insurance a couple of months later, so I never had to enroll in the marketplace. But with the passing of the ACA, my worries about he
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