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A Mercer Island woman is preparing to sacrifice her life for the healthcare coverage of millions.
Julie Negrin, 45, has beaten cancer four times, but it is only now she says, “I feel like my back is against the wall. It’s either jump off the cliff and hope that I land or face a firing squad.”
Simple things such as sitting down are unbearable for Negrin because she has lost the majority of her colon to cancer.
She writes her final appeal to lawmakers on her knees.
This is Negrin’s ultimate protest, which she posted to Facebook last week. She says the decision was spurred by recent efforts to roll back the Affordable Care Act. Unveiled last week, the revised Senate GOP bill effectively allows health insurers to charge more to people with preexisting conditions.
Negrin has a hereditary disorder called Lynch Syndrome, which puts her at high risk for cancer. By the age of 42, she already had four different kinds.
“[Doctors] removed my ovaries, uterus, most of my colon and appendix. But as one surgeon put it: they gutted me,” Negrin said.
Now, she feels gutted that attempts to repeal Obamacare have gotten this far. Negrin says she received a letter from Regence Blue Shield saying the insurer is leaving the exchange next year.
The Trump administration and congressional leaders assure Americans the Republican bills won’t leave anyone behind, including those with preexisting conditions.
Negrin’s insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, however has called the Senate bill “simply unworkable.”
“I’m in a position I can put myself on the line. I don’t have kids. I don’t have a partner. I don’t have a job,” Negrin said, explaining she still has to go to the doctor four to five times per week because of unknown issues with her gastrointestinal tract.
The former nutritionist calls her quality of life “terrible,” as she is in constant pain, and says she probably only has a year or two to live anyway. She says she would rather spend her last moments fighting for something she believes in than withering away in anonymity.
If the bill pass and she follows through on her pledge, she says she will most likely die of dehydration.
“This pledge puts me at least a little bit on the offensive, at least a little more empowered, instead of crying in my parents’ basement opening letters saying I don’t have coverage anymore – that’s just agonizing,” Negrin said.
She says her eight nieces and nephews found out about her plans through social media.
“They know I would not leave them willingly,” Negrin said. “But they also know who I am and I want to keep the healthcare system intact for them. And if sacrificing myself keeps my family and friends and my American neighbors safe, then hell yeah, I’ll do it.”
© 2017 KING-TV