Despite Trump's vow to kill ACA, the American Cancer Society held annual fundraiser at Mar-a-Lago

Jonathan Peltz at the Miami New Times: “'Donald Trump' and 'protecting patients’ access to health care' are two phrases that aren't generally associated with each other. But that fact didn't seem to bother the American Cancer Society (ACS), which hosted its fundraiser Rock Palm Beach at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago [on February 10].”

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"Obamacare saved my life" - Xeni on CNN

Xeni's posted many times about her cancer, what it took to treat it, what helped, and the financial issues at stake. For CNN, she writes that Obamacare saved her life. With Republicans rushing to dismantle the healthcare law formally known as the Affordable Care Act, it's more important than ever to understand what Americans will face if insurance companies are put back in charge. Even if you think you have good insurance, you might be surprised to learn what it won't cover if the ACA goes away.

I am a breast cancer survivor because the Affordable Care Act, politicized by the GOP as "Obamacare," ensures that for-profit insurance companies can't deny me coverage because I had the audacity to be diagnosed with cancer.

My insurance provider paid people to work hard to deny me life-saving chemotherapy because they thought I had a preexisting condition. I am alive in part because that is no longer legal under the ACA. In cancer treatment, timing is everything. Cancer does not wait to progress until your coverage kicks in.

The Affordable Care Act is all that stands between me and insurance company greed. I only have enough in me to fight cancer, not insurance companies.

Obamacare saved my life [CNN] Read the rest

"How I lost my fear of Universal Health Care"

Worth a read: American blogger A Young Mom, who believed state-funded abortion was "a horrible thing," writes about how she changed her mind about Universal Health Care after realizing that affordable access to health care is associated with a lower abortion rate in Canada. She moved to Canada, and her opinions changed when she observed a single-payer system functioning in real life, not in rhetoric. (via @robertlavigne) Read the rest

Poop Strong: Cancer patient whose costs exceeded insurance cap wins victory, via Twitter

Arijit, 31, is graduate student in Arizona who was diagnosed about a year and a half ago with stage IV colon cancer. He endured multiple surgeries, and grueling rounds of chemotherapy. Then, in February, 2012, the cost of his treatment exceeded the lifetime limit on his graduate student health plan, which is managed by Aetna.

His coverage was terminated. His cancer was not.

He launched what we cancer patients sometimes refer to as an internet lemonade stand: a site called Poop Strong (a light-hearted parody of "Livestrong"). At poopstrong.org, he invited well-wishers to make a donation or buy schwag, with all proceeds going to his healthcare.

But, big news today, as his pal Kirk Caron tells Boing Boing,

In the six months between when he was dropped and when he'll be picked up by another student health plan, he's been looking at well over $100K in medical bills for his treatments. In addition to updates about his own condition and the state of Poop Strong, Arijit's been tweeting (naturally) about the state of health insurance, and recently, Aetna got involved. The conversation (as Twitter convos tend to do) sort of spirals out from the main thread between Arijit and Aetna.

That's an understatement! Arijit ended up debating directly with the CEO of Aetna, Mark T. Bertolini. The tl;dr: Aetna, and Mr. Bertolini, agreed in the end to cover the full extent of bills that accrued since Arijit was dropped from insurance (about $118,000).

"The system is broken," said Bertolini. Read the rest