SUPERIOR, Colo (CBS4)– Congressional lawmakers continue to try to hash out new healthcare legislation, but for many the debate has personal consequences.
Cody Qualls is a self-employed musician with a group called “Face Vocal Band.” He was diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic at age 14.
“It means probably 10 injections a day. I check my blood sugar between 20 and 30 times a day,” Qualls told CBS4.
People with diabetes face healthcare costs that are 2-times greater than those without the disease, making insurance a necessity.
“We get our insurance through Kaiser, and it’s subsidized through Connect for Health Colorado,” Qualls explained.
On the healthcare exchange, Qualls was able to get an affordable plan for himself and his family, but he says premiums have increased every year. Now, he’s worried that a change in healthcare law will make prices go even higher.
“I think about it every day when I wake up, and I think about it every night before I go to sleep,” Qualls said.
The American Diabetes Association says that 30-million Americans have the same concern as Qualls.
“If you take the access to regular primary care away from people who can’t otherwise afford it, it’s a very big problem. And, we will end up paying for it down the road,” said Martha Clark, the interim CEO of the American Diabetes Association.
For Qualls, the problem comes if he gets priced out of the insurance market.
“I don’t feel that it’s a red, and blue issue for me, it’s a human being issue for me,” Qualls said.
Republicans argue their plan will bring premiums down and make exchanges more stable. Enrollment for Connect for Health Colorado is up 15-percent this year over last year. Administrators for the healthcare exchange are looking to continue their efforts no matter what is passed in a new healthcare bill.