Shelley Preston | Smith Knows Our Heartbreak

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I’m a cancer survivor, and mom to a young daughter requiring two brain surgeries before age 5. To insurance companies, we are merely numbers that hurt their profits. I watched in fear as (former Rep.) Steve Knight repeatedly sought to repeal the Affordable Care Act. If he had succeeded, we would have been stripped of protection the law provided for our pre-existing conditions and would have left us helpless. It also would have reinstated lifetime coverage caps and we’d be maxed out in a few years, leaving us in danger. That’s terrifying to families like mine. 

Republican Mike Garcia is also opposed to the ACA, but offers no alternative except references to “competition.” Competition sounds good, but when your life —  or worse, your child’s life — is in danger, there’s no bargain hunting. You are at the mercy of insurance companies.

I support Christy Smith for Congress. She will vote to expand coverage to include more people, not fewer. That really comes down to a public option, which is long overdue. Other first-world nations figured it out, so why do we allow people, like Garcia, use fear to hold us back?

For Christy, health care is personal. Her diabetic mother was one of too many Americans who died due to lack of affordable coverage. I’ve seen Garcia supporters in this paper mocking her for this, asking why Christy didn’t help her more.

That stings. I ask myself this question regularly. What more can I do for my child? What wouldn’t I give? I know all too well the frustration of for-profit medicine and the walls families like mine constantly hit. I know Christy’s heartbreak. 

More importantly, she knows mine.

Shelley Preston

Santa Clarita

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