Dear Editor,

Health insurance covering pre-existing conditions, which one third of Americans depend on, is essential. This insurance allows me to give you the following facts.

Due to surgery I had to have, I immediately learned a basic truth all Americans face: health insurance covering surgeries, medical supplies and pre-existing conditions, is a life or death issue.  

The two types of insulin I require every day cost $2,582 for a 90-day supply. With insurance, I pay $387. To digest food, I take a medicine costing $8,373 for a 90-day supply.  With health insurance I pay $350. The needles needed for insulin cost $196. With insurance I pay $29. 

The Affordable Care Act also covered gold standard treatment at the Mayo Clinic. Insurance kept me alive!  Benefits like mine are common. They should be available to everyone.

How many middle-aged people do you know who don’t have a pre-existing condition? Probably extremely few, if any. Without the Affordable Care Act, the cost of staying alive would be terrible!

Just days after the coming election, Republican lawyers are scheduled to argue before the U. S. Supreme Court that the Affordable Care Act should be struck down in its entirety. For decades they’ve said they have “a health care plan,” but none has ever been seen. Also, Iowa’s incumbent Senator is literally owned by “Big Pharma.” The opposing candidate for this position is advocating for Medicare to negotiate for lower drug costs.

Simultaneously we face lots more COVID-19, a self-inflicted economic collapse, and another flu season. It is beyond cruel to kill existing health insurance just when it is needed most. But it could happen. Please consider all ramifications of your vote.  An enormous number of lives depend on you.

Ric Zarwell