Woman Fears Health Care Law Changes May Be Her Death Knell

PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — President Donald Trump’s health care bill jumped a hurdle on Thursday — House Republicans passed the American Health Care Act Thursday morning, by a slim four votes.

Some people are fuming at the decision and took to the streets of Roseville to call for equal health care. One of those protesters is a woman with a rare, genetic kidney disease. She can barely afford health care now, and says if the AHCA passes, she’ll die.

Cecilia Maida traveled around the country to bring awareness to her disease after doctors told her she only had a few more years to live, Now she says the President’s health care bill could become her death sentence.

“It’s like they’re sticking a knife in my heart,” said Cecilia.

Hearing the news of President Donald Trump’s health care bill moving forward has been a tough pill for her to swallow.
She was diagnosed with Polycystic Kidney Disease, or PKD, at the age of 19,- a condition she inherited from her father.

“They told me I would never live until 30, now I’m 57 so I feel blessed but I’m now disfigured,” said Cecilia.

There’s no medication for Cecilia’s condition, her best option is to get a kidney transplant. Cecilia’s kidneys began failing last year.

“You don’t know what it feels like to have to get on the phone and call people and beg for your life,” cried Cecilia.

After calling half a dozen hospitals around Northern California, she was told Medicare won’t cover her kidney transplant. She needed supplemental insurance which would cost her $700 each month.

Cecilia says she can’t even afford half that amount, and worries she’ll have to start planning her funeral if the President’s health care bill does pass.

“My kidneys have chosen to fail during the wrong administration,” she said.

One of the proposals under the AHCA would allow insurers to charge higher rates for patients with preexisting conditions.
Cecilia falls right into that category.

But the fight goes on, and Cecilia says if the President’s health care bill gets the victory, her chance at getting a new kidney is gone.

“I never dreamed the final chapter of the PKD warrior was gonna be that I have to die because I’m poor,” Cecilia said tearfully.

Cecilia has one year to get a new kidney from her donor. She’s working with a surgeon at UCSF to see if they can help her.

The bill now heads to the Senate, where it’s expected to face some challenges.

More from Angela Musallam
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