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Changes To Health Care Law Could Cost California Woman Her Life

SACRAMENTO (KPIX 5) -- For one Northern California woman, changes to the health care law could mean the difference between life and death.

President Trump recently admitted that the subject of health care was really complicated. And that's probably because of people like Charis Hill.

Hill got insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

"I feel certain that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed and…it's hard to imagine what that's going to look like for me," she said.

Four years ago, Hill was working part-time at a Sacramento non-profit and doing some modeling when she began developing Ankylosing Spondylitis, an incurable form of arthritis that also caused her father's spine to fuse into a rigid, crooked bone.

But it was the Affordable Care Act that gave her the insurance she needed to get treatment for the pre-existing condition.

"Because of the subsidies available, I could have a better health insurance plan that covered more things that I needed," she explains.

Now, permanently disabled with her savings dwindling, Hill lives in constant pain. Her drug treatments only slow progression of the disease, but still, she's terrified by talk that changes to the law would eliminate the only help available.

"This isn't just, I'm sick and I need this treatment so I feel better, it's I'm sick and I need access to treatment so I don't die soon," Hill said.

Hill's life hangs in the balance and her story stands in the way of those who seek a simple solution to a complicated problem.

Hill says the suggested changes to the Affordable Care Act would lower federal payments to Medicaid, which would eliminate treatment for her condition.

On Tuesday, President Trump said he's proud to endorse the House replacement plan.

""This will be a plan where you can choose your doctor," Trump said. "This will be a plan where you can choose your plan…It's a complicated process but actually it's very simple. It's called good health care."

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