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Former Rep. Donna Edwards Says She Has MS, Makes Plea For Health Care Reforms

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- In an OpEd featured in the Washington Post, former Congresswoman Donna Edwards, who ran to fill Senator Barbara Mikulski's seat in 2015, says she has been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.

In a letter to Representatives through, Edwards says that since leaving her position in Congress, she now faces the same bottle as many other Americans who face losing coverage or increased rates due to proposed health care bill up for vote in the Senate.

"If we return to a time when people with preexisting conditions can be charged more than healthy people, it will surely result in my never being able to afford insurance again. If we return to a time of lifetime caps, I will no longer have health insurance," she says.

She says it wasn't until after the April 2016 primary loss, that she experienced symptoms of fatigue and had issues with the feeling in her legs.

Edwards says she was able to get treatment and a diagnosis through her coverage as a government employee through the DC Health Exchange, but since leaving Congress, she is only covered by COBRA, and that coverage is costly.

"I am not employed, and I pay $800 a month for my COBRA coverage, which ends in June 2018. I'm not sure what I'll do then. My medication, which has thankfully halted the progression of my MS, costs roughly $73,000 a year."

She makes a plea to her former colleagues, asking them to consider her case.

"I'm worried that one day I will have to sell my home or spend my retirement savings on my health care. I don't know what I will do next or whether I will run for public office again. I do know that my MS will not stop me. But not having health-care coverage because of my MS could stop me permanently."

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