The 'uncertain path ahead'

Recently, I treated a patient in clinic, a woman in her early 40s. Just two years prior, she was experiencing homelessness and frequented emergency rooms every few weeks. Through the Affordable Care Act, she was able to get health insurance, which in turn helped her get her blood pressure managed and diabetes treated. It also enabled her to obtain treatment for depression and alcoholism.

As a result, she now had a job and a home. She regained custody of her children. Thanks to health insurance, which she called "her rock," she had her life back.

But when I saw her, she was distraught. Crying on the examining table, she told me how worried she was that her insurance could now be in jeopardy — that she could lose everything she worked so hard to achieve.

For my patient, like so many of our residents, the national uncertainty we face is deeply personal. In 2010, 81,000 adults in Baltimore City were without health insurance. That number has been cut in half — meaning that more than 40,000 now have access to life-saving care. Will their coverage now be at risk? Will our neighbors and family members be priced out of the basic right to health?

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