Utah man defends ACA after U.S. House votes to repeal it

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) It’s a controversial law that has divided the country and Congressional Republicans are on track to deliver on their promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The House and Senate both passed budgets this week that could open the door to do just that.

Although President Obama has promised to veto any repeal of the ACA.

As the partisan fight continues in Washington, a Utah man credits the law for saving his life.

“The first thought is how much time do I have to live? I asked him basically, what’s the game plan?”

That’s what Victor Saldivar asked his doctor when he was diagnosed with kidney cancer.

Saldivar found out he had the potentially deadly disease just 6 months after his health insurance kicked in last year.

He says before that, insurance was out of reach.

“Through the Affordable Care Act we were able to find it, take care of it,” said Saldivar.

But not everyone speaks so highly of the ACA as the best way to get Americans covered.

“Obamacare is just such a terrible and inefficient, hurtful way of doing that. We can just do much better,” said Representative Chris Stewart, ( R ) Ut.

This week Stewart voted for a budget that will balance in the next nine years.

Part of that is repealing the ACA.

Stewart says republicans want to provide coverage for as many people as possible at the lowest possible cost, but argues the ACA does neither.

“For everyone of those stories where someone is granted access or healthcare, I can show you another where people lost their coverage or they simply could no longer afford their coverage,” said Stewart.

Saldivar says he is cancer free thanks to affordable health insurance.

He says without it he’d be counting down the days.

“I probably would be gone by spring next year or by the end of this year,” said Saldivar.

Saldivar is one of more than 140,000 Utahns who have private insurance through the ACA this year.

Almost 90% of them are getting monthly subsidies from the federal government.

There is a special enrollment period open right now for people who don’t have insurance and got fined for it in 2014.

It is open until April 30, 2015.

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