South Florida Teen With Pre-Existing Condition Thankful For Obama Health Care Law

Patrick Capotosto, 17, has cholesteatoma, or a cyst in his middle ear

By Christina Hernandez
|  Thursday, Jun 28, 2012  |  Updated 8:00 PM EDT
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The Affordable Care Act has already helped one teen and his family in South Florida. One key component of the law – passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, and largely upheld by the Supreme Court on Thursday – is that it offers health care to people with pre-existing conditions. 17-year-old Patrick Capotosto talks about a cyst in his middle ear.

The Affordable Care Act has already helped one teen and his family in South Florida. One key component of the law – passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, and largely upheld by the Supreme Court on Thursday – is that it offers health care to people with pre-existing conditions. 17-year-old Patrick Capotosto talks about a cyst in his middle ear.

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The Affordable Care Act has already helped one teen and his family in South Florida.

One key component of the law – passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, and largely upheld by the Supreme Court on Thursday – is that it offers health care to people with pre-existing conditions.

Looking at 17-year-old Patrick Capotosto, you would never know he has a pre-existing condition, but he has cholesteatoma – a cyst in his middle ear.

The cyst damages everything around it, and the only solution is surgery. Capotosto required three.

“When an insurance company looks at pre-existing conditions and they’ve seen that there’s been prior surgeries, without this legislation, he would have been denied. And at the time when he needed it, I would not have been able to write the $10,000 check,” said his mother, Gerri Ann Capotosto.

The high school senior is still on his parents’ insurance, so he isn't too concerned with coverage – but it is in the back of his mind.

“I mean, my condition could come back, and then if this didn’t happen, I might not be able to have the surgery that I need to have,” he said.

Click here to watch the Miami archbishop holding a rally against "Obamacare."

Patrick Capotosto is thankful the Affordable Care Act does not deny coverage to people like him with pre-existing conditions – not only for his health, but also for his mother’s peace of mind.

Otherwise, he said, “my parents would be down, and they’d feel pretty bad about me not being able to have the surgery that I could have.”

That’s something that he and his mother don’t have to worry about now.

“I’m just really happy that Patrick’s doing so well, and I’m glad that it affected our life in such a positive way, and I truly, from the bottom of my heart, hope it helps others as well,” his mother said of the health care law.

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