Obamacare repeal has some patients worried

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People like Steven Martin, 26, who is battling leukemia, are watching carefully as President Trump's nominee for Health and Human Services goes through confirmation hearings. (KABC)

If Health and Human Services Department nominee Tom Price is confirmed, the huge process of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act will begin.

The nominee faced some tough questions about what he plans to do.

Those whose lives hang in the balance were listening carefully.

Stacks of insurance claims detail 26-year-old Steven Martin's battle with leukemia. Within months of signing up with Covered California, he was stunned by his diagnosis and cost of care.

"The treatments are incredibly expensive," said Martin.

One medication alone runs about $16 a pill.

On the sign he carries at rallies, he wrote "The ACA saved my life." Talk of repeal and replace scares him.

"I'm terrified. It shakes me to my core," said Martin.

During confirmation hearings for HHS secretary, Price was asked repeatedly about the future of care for people like Martin.

When asked if he could guarantee no loss of coverage under the executive order, Price said, "I guarantee you that the individuals that lost coverage under the Affordable Care Act, we will commit to making certain that they don't lose coverage under whatever replacement plan comes forward, that's the commitment that I provide you."

A representative from Health Access California, a consumer advocacy coalition, said repealing the law would mean millions of Californians like Martin would lose their coverage and premiums across the board would rise.

The two Republican senators who unveiled legislation billed it as an "Obamacare Replacement Plan."

"We have retained vital consumer protections such as protections for people with pre-existing conditions as long as they've paid their premiums; we allow young people to stay on their parents' policies," said Sen. Susan Collins.

The enrollment deadline for Covered California 2017 is Jan. 31.

Martin hopes everyone voices their concerns to lawmakers.

"I would not have had access to great insurance had it not been for the Affordable Care Act," said Martin.
Related Topics:
healthObamacareaffordable care acthealth carehealthy living
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