Candice Hildebrant, Babylon

My name is Candice Hildebrant and I live in Babylon, NY. At age 34, I am one of of the many people in America who is suffering from the broken healthcare system we have in our country right now. Every single day of my life I have to fight against my multiple chronic illnesses. It is a daily struggle that sometimes I win, and many times I lose. I have had to declare bankruptcy twice due to extensive medical costs, and am headed down the path to a third right now.

I currently pay over $500 per month just in prescription drug costs, plus more for co-pays. I have hospital bills that are in debt collection, as well as daily costs that sometimes force me to choose between food and healthcare. My family pays over $1000 per month for healthcare coverage for our family, and our deductible for that coverage is still $2500. These are outrageous expenses for someone who has a chronic progressive illness like I do. I have avoided seeking treatments due to these costs, which resulted in more pain, more meds, and less functionality, and I have been rejected and charged higher rates by healthcare insurers due to my pre-existing conditions. We need universal health care so that chronic diseases don’t bankrupt people.