“You saved my life.”
Photo via (cc) Flickr user Sarah
When the GOP candidates take a breather from their petty debate arguments, they love stating that they’ll “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare. Strangely, the Republican party has yet to rally around any substantial plan to replace it. The ACA’s detractors claim that premiums have skyrocketed since its inception. But according to nonpartisan website Politifact, premiums have “risen by about 5.8 percent a year since Obama took office, compared to 13.2 percent in the nine years before Obama.”
This far-reaching change in the healthcare system has affected Americans differently based on geography, income level, and family size, but to call it a “disaster,” in the words of Donald Trump, is disingenuous at best. In fact, as of 2016, 20 million adults have gained health insurance because of the ACA. Millions of these Americans had previously attempted to purchase insurance but were denied coverage because of pre-existing conditions. To set politics aside and look at the human side of the issue, there are countless seldom-told stories of people whose lives have been saved thanks to the ACA. That’s why a letter to President Obama from a lifelong Republican who owes a debt of gratitude to the ACA is so meaningful.
To My President,
I sincerely hope that this reaches you, as far too often praise is hard to come by. Apologies to people who deserve it perhaps even less so.
I did not vote for you. Either time. I have voted Republican for the entirety of my life.
I proudly wore pins and planted banners displaying my Republican loyalty. I was very vocal in my opposition to you–particularly the ACA.
Before I briefly explain my story allow me to first say this: I am so very sorry. I understand written content cannot convey emotions very well–but my level of conviction has me in tears as I write this. I was so very wrong. So very very wrong.
You saved my life. I want that to sink into your ears and mind. My President, you saved my life, and I am eternally grateful.
I have a ‘pre-existing condition’ and so could never purchase health insurance. Only after the ACA came into being could I be covered. Put simply to not take up too much of your time if you are in fact taking the time to read this: I would not be alive without access to care I received due to your law.
So thank you from a dumb young man who thought he knew it all and who said things about you that he now regrets. Thank you for serving me even when I didn’t vote for you.
Thank you for being my President.
Honored to have lived under your leadership and guidance,
Brent Nathan Brown