This is not how a health care system should work. I shouldn’t have to endlessly fight with insurance companies about how to care for my family. I invite anyone to walk a day in my shoes and then tell me I shouldn’t have the medicines that will make my children better. That includes members of Congress, who have proposed legislation claiming to save the government money but could result in more than 50 fewer innovative medicines over 10 years. As someone living in Montana, I don’t really care how much the government saves; I want to know how much I’m going to save right now. And as a person who depends on innovation to help my children, I certainly don’t want these government savings to come at the cost of new treatments.
My story, which is not unique, shows that our health care system is broken. We have to find a way to evolve in a direction that balances costs and protects access to medicines without sacrificing our potential for innovation in the future. The kind that could help my kids. But more importantly, we have to move in a direction that puts patients first. When you’re living with a chronic disease, every day is a battle on its own. The last thing I need is a system that works against my family, rather than for it.
Amy Hasselbach is a mother of four children with connective tissue and autoimmune diseases. As part of Voters for Cures, she joins her husband, Brian, and other patients across the country to stand up for innovation and patient affordability. Click here to tell lawmakers to protect innovation when addressing health care costs.