Six weeks after then-34-year-old Nikki Dziedzic gave birth to her son, she underwent surgery for thyroid cancer — her second cancer diagnosis. She received her first diagnosis at age 16. During her pregnancy, her endocrinologist suggested she get an ultrasound just to be sure the cancer wasn’t back. So, while getting one of her final pregnancy ultrasounds, they checked her neck and found two cancerous nodules. After she got surgery to remove the cancer, the surgeon said she will never be cancer free, which means she needs to be diligent about getting screened for the rest of her life.
“It turned out not to be such a fluke that I had cancer the first time, and it looked like it would be with me for a long time,” she said. “That was very stressful. We were thankful to have insurance and that my cancer treatment was covered even though it was a preexisting condition.”
Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Wednesday that will reinforce significant number of consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act, including the much-discussed right that no person will be denied health coverage because they have a pre-existing medical condition. Dziedzic and her son stood with the governor during the signing, along with Insurance Commissioner Michael Kreidler and primary bill sponsor Rep. Lauren Davis.
“This bill assures Washingtonians that regardless of what happens in D.C., we’re protecting your access to care here at home,” Inslee said. “This means you can’t be denied insurance after surviving cancer, it means you can’t be forced into bankruptcy because of a lifetime cap, and it means you can’t be forced to pay for basic and essential health benefits such as contraception and mammograms.”
Read the rest of the story on the governor's Medium page.