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 If the ACA is repealed, I fear for my life.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 there! I am a patient advocate, writer, and public speaker most well known for my TEDx Talk, “How to Get Stuff Done When You Are Depressed.” As someone who is juggling 5 illnesses: bipolar 2, myasthenia gravis, endometriosis, psoriasis, and asthma, I’m passionate about helping people who navigate life with both chronic physical & emotional pain. If you’re interested in hiring me to speak at your event, check out the CONTACT tab.

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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