Wisconsin Democratic Representative Gwen Moore made a big announcement about her health history during a Ways and Means Committee hearing on Tuesday. Representatives had gathered to discuss the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare). Rep. Moore took the opportunity not only to sing the praises of affordable, accessible health insurance but to share her own cancer (and eventual remission) journey.
Rep. Moore, who was diagnosed with small lymphocytic lymphoma, didn’t hold back on the scary realities that can come with living with cancer. “Instead of yielding me time, you could be delivering kind words at my memorial service,” Moore said to her peers. “In the spring of 2018, I joined an exclusive club of millions of Americans with the cursed C-disease: cancer, a disease that guarantees discrimination in the insurance marketplace — for many, a death sentence.”
“Right now I’m in great health with an excellent prognosis of living with this disease,” Moore continued. “I spent a lot of time on a gratitude tour, of being grateful for medical research, having insurance, and most importantly, thanking God for the ACA provisions.” In a press release, she noted, “This is a cancer I will live with for the rest of my life, but, because of my high-quality healthcare and insurance coverage, it is not a cancer I will die from.”
Small lymphocytic lymphoma impacts the white blood cells in a person’s body. These cells typically help the body fight off infections. Without the right treatment, it can turn into an even more dangerous form of lymphoma.
Moore said she would be paying as much as $15,000 per month out-of-pocket for her treatment if not for the Affordable Care Act. Understandably, she blasted Republicans for their repeated attempts to repeal it. “Ways and Means Republicans have voted to defund, undercut, and undermine our country’s health care system. They have made it clear as day that they care more about the cost of the ACA than the value of human life,” she wrote in her press release. “I am announcing my remission today to remind everyone on this committee that I am a living example of the lifesaving value of essential health benefits.”
“We’ve talked a lot about this costing too much or being too expensive,” Moore told her colleagues. “What does a life cost?” Under Trump’s disturbing administration, human life isn’t worth much. And that can’t change fast enough.