Being a Mom is by far the hardest job I have ever had. Being a Mom with a chronic illness took the hardest job I have ever had and bumped the difficultly level up by about 100. Something I didn't think was possible.
So when I heard that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney said he would repeal President Obama's landmark Affordable Care Act "on Day One" if elected, I broke out into a sweat and panicked a bit.
This would not just mean devastation for my health care, but it would make my job as a Mom nearly impossible.
You see, I have Lupus. SLE, to be exact. As with most auto-immune disorders it didn't come alone. It brought along its buddies rheumatoid arthritis, unspecified connective tissue disorder, fibromyalgia, Sjogrens Syndrome, and a host of other strangely named things that basically mean I'm sick.
I've had a stroke, lost most of my colon, my gall bladder, and had a total hysterectomy. I am a mother who considers it a huge accomplishment to pack lunches for my children in the morning, get them to school, get myself to treatment at the doctor's office, and get home to help with homework and dinner.
Because of "Obamacare" my family will be protected against practices that could cause financial disaster due to my disabilities. I'm not in remission yet and treatment for my condition is ongoing and expensive. Even with good insurance our out-of-pocket expense for the past few years since my diagnosis have put us in debt. We NEED the legislation's provisions that will ban annual limits. I NEED the peace-of-mind that if anything should happen to my husband's job or our insurance that my very large pre-existing condition won't be an issue. And maybe most importantly, I need the Affordable Care Act's assurances that prohibit our insurance company from dumping me from coverage. Hey, I'm pretty sick and cost them a lot of money. You never know, one little clerical error and BAM! you are off the policy. Talk about scary.
And that is just my family. So many millions of Americans need this historic reform to remain in place and continue its roll-out to make sure they have access to affordable care. From the millions of young adults who have gained coverage and remain covered to the millions of seniors now getting free preventive care. Not to mention the small business tax credit many employers get simply for helping keep their employees covered.
So yes, when I hear Romney say he will repeal all of what literally saves my life on "Day One" in the White House I shake with fear.
Unless Governor Romney plans on making my kids' lunches in the morning, getting them to school, helping with their homework, making us dinner, and then of course doing all the other things we chronically ill Moms do—I'm sticking with the plan I KNOW will protect myself and my family: Obama-Biden 2012.
Erin Kotecki Vest, when not disabled by Lupus, is BlogHer, Inc.’s Social Media Strategist. Prior to joining BlogHer, she spent ten years as a broadcast journalist in Los Angeles, Orlando and Detroit winning six Golden Mic Awards with LA news institution KFWB. In addition, Erin speaks to audiences across the country and provides commentary for national media outlets on social media, women, parenting, politics and how they all intersect. When she's not in treatment for Lupus, you can find her at home in Los Angeles with her two children, VFX digital artist husband, and wonder dog and Bo Obama look-alike, @nickythepup. Find her on Twitter @queenofspain.