Obamacare Gave My Mom Peace of Mind

Apr. 2, 2013 / By



La Opinión, Op-ed, Adrián Sánchez, Translated by Elena Shore

Photo: Aurelia Ventura/La Opinión

Traducción al español

Health care reform is already helping people struggling to get health insurance. I know — my mother is one of them.

I was 10 when my mother was diagnosed with chronic lupus, a disease in which the immune system goes awry and attacks healthy tissue. This meant she was among those with “preexisting conditions,” making it difficult for my family to get health insurance. The Affordable Care Act, which recently celebrated its third anniversary, is about to make life much easier.

Mom migrated from Mexico to the United States when she was 17, settling in Watsonville, Calif. Being undocumented and not knowing the language, she had few employment opportunities. She worked in the fields and packing industries of Salinas Valley for the next 30 years of her life.

Fortunately, my mother got legal residency when she was in her 30s, which allowed her to pay for health insurance through her employer. Then, at age 40, she was diagnosed with chronic lupus. There were mornings when she woke up almost paralyzed, with no feeling in her left arm and barely able to get out of bed.

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