Sarah Bednarek, Brooklyn

My name is Sarah Bednarek, and I am an artist, welder, and woodworker living in Brooklyn. At 38 years old, I have stage 4 cancer which could have been caught at an earlier stage if I had insurance, and I might not be facing such a terrifying prognosis now.  

Now I have Medicare, but for 10 years my pre-existing conditions and the cost made insurance impossible to get. Because I couldn't afford insurance, I did not get regular check ups that could have caught my cancer earlier. Furthermore, the emergency bills that I received were so astronomical that they were a completely unpayable abstraction, causing misery and anxiety just as I was dealing with my terrifying new medical reality.

I support the New York Health Act because I would like the middlemen that drive up costs to be removed from the system, i.e. the greedy insurance companies. Our current system disadvantages the poor, disabled, and minorities; a situation so unfair and cruel it boggles the mind. Likewise, I am exhausted by federal senators and congress people using healthcare as a pawn. For me it is the most serious and consequential aspect of my life and literally determines my mortality. To constantly be threatening and deleteriously altering the current system is the height of legislative cruelty for people like me.