As someone who has been living with diabetes for 50 years, I understand firsthand the intrinsic role politics plays in my life. After all, politicians have direct control over whether or not I have access to affordable health insurance or whether I or not I can afford to pay for insulin — the absolutely critical medication I need every day to stay alive.

While it may seem like partisan games, these games have real consequences. In our state for example, under Democratic leadership, we have passed policies that will tangibly reduce healthcare costs for families, helping many Coloradans stay healthy and even saving lives. Policies like capping the cost of insulin, creating a Colorado option and a reinsurance program to reduce the costs of health care coverage, and instituting a Prescription Drug Affordability board which is estimated to save Coloradans up to 75% on the costs of the most unaffordable prescription drugs.

These are real results, but unfortunately, many of the leaders that helped pass these critical policies are fighting to help us hold the majority we need to protect our healthcare future. Lawmakers like State Senator Dylan Roberts, Representative Lisa Cutter, Representative Tony Exum, Representative Tom Sullivan, Representative Kyle Mullica, and others who fought to help more people access quality, affordable care.

We need to keep people like this in office if we want to win the fight against Big Pharma, insurance companies, and others that are looking to price us out of the medicine we rely on to live.

Take it from me. As a type 1 diabetic, I can tell you that my biggest day-to-day anxiety is not kidney disease or other complications from diabetes, but the ability to access and afford insulin. More than 30 million Americans have diabetes and nearly 7% of Coloradans live with this condition. At the same time, at least 25% of people living with diabetes are rationing or skipping doses to make prescriptions last longer due to cost. 

No one should choose between paying their mortgage or keeping the lights on and paying for the medication they need to live.

So please vote for access to health care. Vote for candidates who have proven that they will prioritize access to quality, affordable health care. Vote for your life and mine.

Gail DeVore has had Type 1 Diabetes for more than 50 years. Gail has volunteered for decades to educate and advocate on behalf of diabetics across the U.S. and Colorado. She was very involved in the insulin co-pay cap and insulin pricing legislation that recently went into effect in Colorado. Professionally, she is an IT consultant. She and her husband live in Denver with their two dogs.