Letter: Please don't repeal the ACA

My children deserve to live the healthiest life possible. My patients, my neighbors, my co-workers and people I don’t even know — we all deserve a chance to live the healthiest life possible.

One piece of living a healthy life is through affordable health care. The Affordable Care Act has given health care coverage to millions. It protected my friend from financial devastation when her child underwent care for a severe congenital heart condition. And it’s helped bring my patients’ health care and preventative screenings that they would otherwise have gone without.

I have been a Registered Nurse for nearly 20 years. I have worked in many health settings caring for those with cancer, mental illness, the elderly, the young and the poor. I have worked to try to find care for a low-income working man who had no insurance and no options to address his symptoms. I have held the hands of the dying when their cancer could have been treated if caught early through preventative screenings. I have seen patients forced to go without care because they couldn’t afford the care they needed, time and time again.

While the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, it does represent a vision — a vision of a country where health is a shared value, a right that we all have, that we all participate in and that we all fight to keep.

As a nurse, I will fight for this right for my patients. For the poor, the sick and the injured. I will also fight for the healthy — so they may stay healthy.

And so, I am calling on Congress to protect the right to affordable health care for all of us, not just some of us. For my patients, for my children, for my friends and neighbors. Please don’t repeal the ACA. Work to make it better, so that we all may share health as a value and a reality.

Sarah Hargrave, MS, RN

Board of Directors, Alaska Nurses Association

Juneau

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