Linda’s Story: Celebrating the Affordable Care Act

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    Today marks the second anniversary of the Affordable Care Act and there is a lot to celebrate! The health care law has accomplished a lot in the last two years and is already helping millions of Virginia’s seniors, young adults, children and women.

     Linda Chernisky

    On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court begins three days of arguments on  the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, with a decision  expected by June 30. While no one can truly predict how the Supreme  Court Justices will rule, we know that there is a lot at stake. We know  we must protect the health care law and give it time to be fully  implemented.

     

    No one understands this more than Linda Chernisky of Fairfax. Linda  has experienced our broken health care system as a retired small  business owner and as a daughter who watched her father die, in pain,  because he could not afford health care due to a pre-existing condition.

     

     

    "I cared for my ailing father who died due to lack of care. I  have seen how this can devastate a family. I cannot express how grateful  I am to know that future generations may not have to go through the  heartache that my family experienced, thanks to the Affordable Care Act.  

     

    “My dad was basically uninsurable. I grew up on a farm in  Montana. Due to the physical demands of the job, my dad got sick. But  like most men from his generation, he just kept working. Eventually he  developed serious ulcers and a bad back. He lived out his last years in  extreme pain because he did not have proper medical care. I will never  forget sitting in my dad’s living room and having an argument with a  health insurance salesman. I believe the insurance salesman’s exact  words were that ‘they would not touch my dad with a ten foot pole.’

     

    “If the Affordable Care Act is given a chance to work, people  like my dad would have some options. The health care law has already  gotten rid of pre-existing conditions for children and will for adults  in 2014.  In the meantime the Pre-Existing Conditions Insurance Plan is  helping many Americans who have otherwise been told that the insurance  companies ‘would not touch them with a ten foot pole.’

     

    "The health care law will also help small business owners,   which would have been a huge relief to me when I struggled with   insurance costs for years.

     I owned a landscape  business for many years. We took care of  our employees and wanted to  provide health insurance for them and their  families.

     

    "Over  the years, I looked into the prospect of  providing insurance benefits  many times and had a terrible time getting  a reasonable rate or a  straight-forward answer from the insurance  companies. The deck is  stacked so high against small business owners,  that I gave up.   Now, thanks to the Affordable Care Act, small  businesses are already  receiving tax credits to help them afford  insurance and will eventually  be able to buy more affordable insurance  through a Health Benefits  Exchange. I wish the Affordable Care Act had  been around when I was  struggling with health insurance premiums for my  business. But I am  hopeful it will be around to help others in the  future.”

     

    After  spending the last thirty years dealing with perils of a broken  health  care system that hurts small businesses and allows the uninsured  to go  without care, Linda is fighting for the Affordable Care Act.

     

    Will you join her?

     

    Please   sign the petition to ask Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and Governor   Bob McDonnell to stop playing politics with our health care by blocking   the Affordable Care Act. Already signed the petition? Please forward it to a friend or share it on Facebook.