Hoosiers worry about future of healthcare as lawmakers consider ACA repeal

Hoosiers worry about future of healthcare as lawmakers consider ACA repeal. (WISH Photo/Jessica Smith)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — As lawmakers consider how to overhaul healthcare, people in Central Indiana wonder how decisions made in Washington will change their lives. Some people worry about losing insurance, while others are concerned about their rising premiums.

24-Hour News 8 talked to people on both sides of the issue.

Greg Lyman and Jackie Tabor have been married since 2009. Already, they’ve faced enough challenges for a lifetime.

“My wife was first diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 23,” said Lyman.

Tabor beat cancer, but then it came back.

“The Affordable Care Act was a huge relief because after the second diagnosis it wasn’t a concern with her insurance carrier whether or not we could seek life-saving treatment,” said Lyman.

The couple switched jobs and insurance providers between the first and second diagnosis. They said the without the Affordable Care Act, they would be at risk of hitting their lifetime limit or being denied coverage if her recurring cancer were deemed a pre-existing condition.

“We’re already backed up against the wall if any of those protections are removed,” said Lyman.

It’s not just Jackie they have to consider. Their three-year-old son has already had six surgeries, due to a birth defect that will require life-long monitoring and treatment. Because of Tabor’s history, their daughter has a higher risk of breast cancer. She will start getting cancer screenings when she turns 18 years old.

As lawmakers argue over what health care reform should look like, the couple worries about their family’s future.

“That’s why we had these protections created, for people like us, to help us not have to worry about all those uncertainties. Now everything is up in the air again,” said Tabor.

The couple knows many people struggle with the cost of rising premiums and the burden the Affordable Care Act puts on small business owners.

“It’s hard to hear people discuss economics and bottom lines and tax payer dollars when it’s threatening the life of my wife,” said Lyman.

They say if lawmakers repeal the Affordable Care Act and take away their protections, they’ll have no choice but to try to pay out of pocket and fight.

“Fight the insurance companies for coverage and hope she doesn’t die in the meantime,” said Lyman.

The National Federation of Independent Business is pushing for lawmakers to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Barbara Quandt-Underwood is the NFIB Indiana state director. Quandt-Underwood said she hopes the Affordable Care Act is repealed, because she believes it is too expensive.

“Unfortunately, the Affordable Care Act did exactly the opposite. It’s kind of ironic that we were hoping that would be the change we were waiting for for so long and it ended up doing exactly the opposite,” said Quandt-Underwood.

The NFIB said the Affordable Care Act is a burden to small business owners.

“We would like to see the ACA repealed and replaced with something that offers some kind of protections for small businesses and encourages them to offer health insurance for their employees. Something that makes it affordable, flexible and predictable. Premiums have been the major problem in that they continue to skyrocket,” said Quandt-Underwood.

24-Hour News 8 talked to one man who said he used to pay $30 per paycheck for health insurance. He did not want to go on camera for an interview, but said he now pays $113 every paycheck for insurance.

“You have to make it affordable for everyone to be able to afford it and have that coverage. It’s also about being able to provide jobs,” said Quandt-Underwood.

Quandt-Underwood said the NFIB supports the new health care bill.

“Is it everything? No. There’s a lot more work to be done. This is an important first step in the process of bringing affordable coverage for small businesses,” said Quandt-Underwood.

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