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Pennsylvanians sound off on Obamacare: 'I definitely need insurance. Everyone needs insurance'

| Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, 11:53 p.m.
Tia Baker, 43, of the Hill District found free insurance coverage from the state Department of Public Welfare as she fought breast cancer. She finds the federal Affordable Care Act reassuring. “When you have a pre-existing condition, you need insurance because there’s ongoing care that you just have to have,” Baker said.
Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Tia Baker, 43, of the Hill District found free insurance coverage from the state Department of Public Welfare as she fought breast cancer. She finds the federal Affordable Care Act reassuring. “When you have a pre-existing condition, you need insurance because there’s ongoing care that you just have to have,” Baker said.

Tia Baker had just been laid off — and lost her health insurance — when doctors diagnosed her with breast cancer in November 2010.

She received free coverage through the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare as she sought treatment to save her life.

She suspects coverage under the health care law could replace her policy through the state program.

Although policies under the federal law won't be free, the law forbids insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions or inflating their rates — a guarantee that Baker finds reassuring. Her part-time work doesn't provide insurance.

“In my situation, I definitely need insurance. Everyone needs insurance,” said Baker, 43, of the Hill District, whose cancer is in remission. “When you have a pre-existing condition, you need insurance because there's ongoing care that you just have to have.”

The ban on discrimination against pre-existing conditions begins in 2014. People with such conditions who were denied coverage in the past will become eligible.

— Adam Smeltz

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