Cleveland mom speaks out about health care reform

(Washington) - Patients, doctors, and health care advocacy groups held a press conference in Washington D.C., to express concern about the Republican health plan. 

Critics claim the plan would eliminate health care for millions of Americans. Among those speaking at the press conference was Laurie Merges, a Cleveland mother of three, who lost her job, and then discovered she had stage 3-b breast cancer. 

Thanks to Ohio's expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, Merges says even while unemployed, she was able to afford 16 rounds of chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, and 33 doses of radiation. 

She remains on oral chemo and will need further treatment. Merges credits Medicaid expansion for saving her life, and providing health care for her 3 children, including a son with autism. 

Merges is scared that if the Affordable Care Act is repealed without an immediate replacement she will lose coverage before she is finished with treatment.

The press conference was sponsored by the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, the American Cancer Society, and the American Medical Association.

(Photo by American Medical Association/Ken Robinson-WTAM)

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