Has the ACA Helped You?

hospital-1802679_960_720Recently, I joined a group, the Healthcare Rights Coalition, which formed after the election.  We are an advocacy group made of writers, healthcare activists, lawyers, and people with political science degrees. I have a political science degree and as many of you know, I write for The Huffington Post. Our goal is to preserve and strengthen the ACA, the Affordable Care Act.  Like 20 million people, the ACA gave me insurance.  Before the ACA, I was denied disability three times even though I have five illnesses.  I do not want to go back to the days when insurance companies could deny people with pre-existing conditions.  That is discrimination.  Healthcare is a civil right.  As you’ll see in my story below, the ACA changed my life.  Leave a comment or email me at jessica@jessicagimeno.com if you are interested in sharing your story.  You can share your story anonymously.  We have a closed group on Facebook that you can join here.  Email me if you have a problem joining.

My Story

Eight years ago, I was young and healthy. I practiced yoga five days a week. Then one day, when I was climbing up a long flight of stairs at work, I suddenly couldn’t feel anything below my waist. I started falling and I kept falling. A few weeks later, I was diagnosed with myasthenia gravis, an incurable neuromuscular autoimmune disease that affects many involuntary actions like chewing, speaking, and breathing. I was hospitalized and bedridden for a year. I started carrying a cane. I had many medical procedures. In addition to myasthenia gravis, I have four other chronic illnesses. Despite this, over the course of six years, I was denied SSI Disability three times. I was deemed ineligible for Social Security or Medicaid. We spent an average of $468 per month on medical expenses. Then, the Affordable Care Act became law. The ACA expanded Medicaid in Illinois, which changed my life. Since 2014, I have not worried about paying for my myriad of medications, co-pays for neurology visits, and the costs of surgery. If the ACA is repealed, I fear for my life. I do not want to go back to the days when insurance companies denied people with pre-existing conditions. Instead of going backwards, I hope that we can strengthen the ACA.

You Can Share Your Story Too

As you can see above, your story doesn’t have to be long.  In fact, we want to avoid verbose stories.  Again, let me know if you are interested in sharing your story.  You can email me at jessica@jessicagimeno.com.

–Your Stylist, Jessica Gimeno


Hi, I have five illnesses--bipolar disorder, myasthenia gravis (neuromuscular autoimmune disease), endometriosis, asthma, and psoriasis. Most of the organs in my body are affected. I'm dedicated to being a stylist for sick women. As someone who has experienced changes in my appearance due to my 12 meds (including Prednisone), I know how hard it can be when your face and body change overnight. (In fact, because of treatment, between 2008 to 2010, I went from a size 0 to a size 10. While I lost the weight, there are permanent changes in my face and body, which I've grown to appreciate.) My blog will also help women deal with other issues like surviving chronic pain and fatigue. Healthy people can also use this blog as a window into what life with illness is like. Let this website be a place where we can draw strength from each other despite our illnesses and find solutions to our everyday challenges!

One thought on “Has the ACA Helped You?

  • March 28, 2017 at 10:33 am

    I don’t know if this is the right section to ask this but I’ll take my chances anyway.
    Hi Jessica, I just want to ask if you ever tried using cannabis for pain management? I am 35 years old now and been battling lupus for almost half of my life now. I have read many articles suggesting highly concentrated cannabis oil can be effective and alternative meds for people suffering lupus. Pain and inflammation are two commonly recognized therapeutic properties of cannabis, so its ability to treat lupus effectively is not surprising. Like this review on a Northern Lights strain from http://www.ilovegrowingmarijuana.com/northern-lights/. This plant has very high CBD and pain suppresing effect. I am very familiar with the high and physical effects of cannabis but I cant find any solid evidence that it will work. Let me also hear your thoughts or personal experience (if any) when it come with medical marijuana. Thanks Daniel


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