Utah man who credits Affordable Care Act with saving his life fights to save law

Washington-DC

WASHINGTON (ABC4 News) – President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday to transform kidney care and increase transplants.  

Kidney treatment is just one of many expenses covered under the Affordable Care Act, but the president’s order comes just as a court is deciding whether the ACA should be continued.

A Utah man is in Washington working hard to save the law.

Paul Gibbs is a husband and father of two. Ten years ago, he was recovering from a lifelong fight.

 “In November of 2008, I went to a doctor’s appointment, where the doctor told me I was in end-stage kidney failure and I needed a transplant as soon as possible. And I was uninsured, I had no way of getting that $79,000,” said Gibbs.

Paul credits the Affordable Care Act with saving his life, along with his dreams of having a family.

Patient advocates agree the act is crucial not only for physical health but also for economic survival.

“If they need care they can get it without losing their home, their savings, the things they’ve worked for their whole life,” said Frederick Isasi, Executive Director Families USA.

Now Paul has another reason to fight.

“My second son, Peter, who just turned 5-months-old this week, he was diagnosed before he was born with a kidney condition similar to mine. He had surgery two weeks ago. And if we lose those ACA protections, Peter is branded for life,” said Gibbs.

Branded with a pre-existing condition.

“Paul is a perfect example of somebody who, before the ACA, really struggled, and after the ACA, not only has it benefitted him, but it’s also given his 4-month-old son the ability to live a healthy life,” said Isasi.

That’s what brought Paul to the Capitol. While preparing to speak with state lawmakers, he remembers what he’s fighting for.

“You know, Peter’s just barely started his life. And to see him have to go through a medical problem so young was really heartbreaking to me,” said Paul.

Paul is demanding action.

“It’s time to stop this ridiculous conflict and move forward. Fix the problems, create something that works for everyone.”


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