I never blog. I never blog at work. I never blog about policy. But, right now, I'm doing all three.
I'm sitting at my desk at work completely overwhelmed with emotion and tearing up over the announcement that the Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act.
I don't have a precondition or cancer or any serious ailment, but I've had a rocky relationship with health care for the past few years.
I lost health insurance at the age of 22 when I no longer qualified to be on my dad's health insurance because I wasn't in school full time. I was working an hourly job at 39.5 hours a week while writing my thesis and prepping for graduation.
When I graduated 7 months later, I moved to New York where I found my first Grown Up job. I didn't have health insurance though because my company required that you be employed for 6 months before providng. 3 weeks after I became eligible, I was laid off. My insurance card came in the mail 2 weeks after my last day.
I moved back to DC a few months later and took a job at a nonprofit. Again, I had to wait several months before becoming insured. I reached the probationary period and realized I couldn't afford to be insured. My salary was so low, I couldn't afford the $200 a month rate and made the choice not to get insurance.
I was laid off again about 18 months ago in the winter and did everything I could to stop a cold as soon as I got the sniffles. If I felt sinus pressure or a tickle in my throat, I rushed to the pharmacy to get over the counter meds to stop any potential germs from becoming a full-blown cold. Sometimes I was successful, but other times I was out for a week at a time hoping my body would fix itself before I got pneumonia.
Now, at 26, I have reliable health insurance for the first time in 4 years. While I don't need help getting insurance anymore, I understand what it's like to no longer fear a sniffle or an earache. That relief is life changing and I'm so incredibly happy for the millions of Americans who won their lives back today.