My name is Kate. I’m 31 years old, and I live in Brooklyn. For years, I brought symptoms to my primary care physician who dismissed them, I believe because of my gender. At first, I trusted his assessment, and I couldn't afford to see a specialist anyway. When my health continued to decline, I decided I would see a specialist despite the cost—and I was correctly diagnosed as suffering from a chronic illness. Once I was in a position to pay for additional rounds of testing and treatment, I was finally able to grapple with the problem, but over time all of my doctors left my network, and to this day I face soaring expenses because my employer-sponsored insurance doesn't cover out-of-network providers. I support the passage of the New York Health Act because of its focus on better primary care and guaranteed access to the kinds of specialists that make managing chronic illnesses possible.
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