Reasons I’m voting for Rebecca Kleefisch on August 9, #25: Pre-existing conditions


Rebecca wrote the following in May of 2016:

A couple of weekends ago, I walked through a gauntlet of healthcare provider tables and cancer screening providers to a basement community room to talk about my own colorectal cancer diagnosis. My diagnosis came in the middle of my primary election campaign when I was running for lieutenant governor of Wisconsin. I was 35, had daughters ages four and seven, and was working the state nonstop in a race against five men.  Most of them had experience. I had never run for public office before but felt I had good enough ideas and perspective to offer something to my state.

But no amount of my great ideas and hard work would prevent my belly aches, back cramps, and exhaustion. By the time doctors found my colon cancer, the tumor was the size of a grapefruit. It had already broken through my large intestine wall and was moving toward my liver. I was two weeks away from Election Day. Though I had genetic tests done, there was no time to get the results back.

Within days I started bleeding and had to be taken for emergency surgery. When I got out, half my colon was gone…but so was the cancer. My recovery was slow. Time seemed to crawl as I anxiously watched the calendar, waiting for my gut to work well enough for my release from the hospital. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen on my timeline. On Election Day, I was still in the hospital. Having been removed from the campaign trail, and perhaps any hope of victory, I asked my doctor to release me. With my promise that I would return for treatment the next morning, he let me go just in time to get to the polls and vote. For myself. I beat all the guys by 21 points.

The next morning an x-ray revealed that my completely blocked gut had completely cleared overnight.

Rebecca admits she was blessed to have good insurance and great care from doctors affiliated with Froedtert and the Medical College.

She believes in increasing access to health care by barring health insurance companies in Wisconsin from denying coverage to people like her with pre-existing conditions. Also, any Wisconsinite should be able to buy any health plan they like regardless of zip code.


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