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When Republicans, or anybody who says "repeal and replace" or, as has become more common, just "repeal", talks about the Affordable Care Act, they often talk about people paying more or people who have lost their insurance (Read: Refuse to enroll in new insurance or their state didn't expand Medicaid and take FREE MONEY). What they fail to address, and often will go to great lengths to avoid addressing, is the human cost.

The human cost is returning to the days of pre-Affordable Care Act insurance company actions. Pre-existing conditions are a thing of the past. If the ACA is repealed they would be a thing of the present, again. Lifetime limits on coverage are a thing of the past. If the ACA was repealed, they would be a thing of the present, again.

Those are just 2 examples of a return to the "old way" that would cost people jobs, livelihoods and lives.

I spoke with a man from Texas who lost 2 jobs because he was sick and couldn't get the treatment he needed due to a lack health insurance. He couldn't simply buy health insurance because of the aforementioned pre-existing conditions he had. Ultimately, he turned to less-than-legal ways of managing the pain--very powerful painkillers that are only available via prescription. Those painkillers, while "a god-send for the pain," were detrimental to his employment. They made him unable to drive, unable to think properly and unable to perform his job. He had to make the agonizing choice between not being in constant, nearly-debilitating pain or working. He ultimately chose not to be in pain.

"I just couldn't deal with the pain anymore. It had been 2 1/2 years of on-and-off, then always on pain and I just broke. I started taking the painkillers and stopped going to work because I couldn't drive. I was thankful, though. I was at the end of my rope with the pain. I was getting to the point where I was considering doing something drastic to force the doctors to give me the surgery I needed."
Now, he has insurance, and will soon have the procedure he has needed for so long. His story is not uncommon. Although every story is different, too many are similar in that a person lacked insurance and couldn't get the treatment they needed.

People all across the country who now have insurance, wouldn't any longer. It's a high-stakes, life or death struggle for many people. Those who see the ACA as their knight in a white coat, and those who see it as an evil presence that must be destroyed at all costs.

To many entrenched Republicans, if someone loses their life in the crossfire, such is the cost of war.

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