I am the owner of a small business of 33 years in Colorado. Until this last year, health care was an option I offered to all our employees. With our 2009 renewal with PacifiCare, our business health care costs increased by 40 percent. The excessive increase in costs was prohibitive to ourselves and our employees.
Naively, I was forced to cancel our business plan to pursue individual policies.
In 2000, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Following surgery and chemotherapy, I now have been cancer-free for nine years. I did not think this would affect my ability to find an individual policy. Oh boy, was I ever wrong. I was turned down by all the companies I applied to because of my pre-existing condition.
How long does a person have to be healthy in order to qualify for health insurance once again? Fortunately, I was older than 50, so I was able to join AARP and its Aetna plan. My question is, what if I had been younger?
I want to thank Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall for supporting health care for all. Is it not in the interest of our country to have healthier, more productive citizens and work force?