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Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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FL Voters: Preserving ACA, Preexisting-Condition Protections Important

Kaiser Family Foundation polling shows health care is among voters' top concerns for the 2018 midterm elections. (EVC Photos/StockSnap)
Kaiser Family Foundation polling shows health care is among voters' top concerns for the 2018 midterm elections. (EVC Photos/StockSnap)
November 2, 2018

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As election day approaches, health care is proving to be a major issue on voters' minds, in Florida and around the country – especially the rights of people with pre-existing conditions.

About 27 percent of Americans ages 18 to 64 have some kind of pre-existing health condition, such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. Polling suggests voters want to be sure their insurance continues to offer those protections under the Affordable Care Act.

As President and CEO of the Florida small business consulting company The Miami Group & Associates, Millie Herrera says her transition from not having insurance, due to costs and a pre-existing condition, to finally getting coverage was a life saver after a sudden heart attack three years ago.

"If I didn't have insurance, I would've thought twice about going to the emergency room, and I would've died,” says Herrera. “If I would've delayed, I would've died – because I got there on time, they were able to stop it, there was no permanent damage to my heart."

In a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 75 percent of those surveyed said it's "very important" that the ACA continues to protect individuals with pre-existing conditions under current law.

Herrera says the ACA's coverage also is critical in helping to create a robust workforce. She thinks Congress should strengthen it instead of attempting to weaken its protections.

"Throwing away the baby with the bathwater. The people that say, 'Let's get rid of the Affordable Care Act' - it's not good for the economy, first of all, because if you have a healthy workforce, you know, you have the ability to have a good economy," says Herrera.

Kaiser polling shows Americans across the political spectrum support pre-existing condition protections. That includes 86 percent of Democrats, 75 percent of Independents, and 58 percent of Republicans.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - FL