I am a cancer survivor and my health coverage is my lifeline. Access to timely treatment, affordable medications and regular screenings are essential and the reason why I am alive today. Any breaks in coverage could mean delayed care for my cancer and dire consequences for my health. 

As Rep. Gutierrez and members of Congress debate changes to the current health care law, I am anxious for cancer patients, survivors and their families in Illinois who rely on the critical patient protections for their coverage. 

Disruptions in care could be devastating for them. And the constant worry about how they might afford care in the future is an added stressor that no cancer patient needs. 

Changing the Affordable Care Act without guaranteeing patient protections while ensuring affordable and adequate coverage could destabilize the health care market and create gaps in care for millions of cancer patients, survivors and those at risk for the disease. 

Rep. Gutierrez, it should be your priority to guarantee continuous access to meaningful health coverage for cancer patients and their families in Illinois. Anything less than that simply can’t be an option.

Judy Rospenda