Here’s the truth: the Affordable Care Act is about more than statistics or the wrong-headed politics of the Republican Party. This is a debate that matters to millions of Americans — particularly the most vulnerable among us — who are benefiting from the provisions of this program every single day.
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Please take a short moment to read Kamala’s email sharing some of the stories we have received about how the Affordable Care Act is helping millions of people. Thanks for everything.
———— Original Message from Senator Kamala Harris ————
I want you to read this story:
“My four-year-old son was born with Cerebral Palsy. When the Affordable Care Act was enacted, I was so relieved because I knew there would always be a way for my son to have healthcare coverage, even if I lost my job. Knowing that the Republicans want to repeal without replacing brings anxiety and loss of hope to our family.”
And this one:
“Being enrolled in the Affordable Care Act has been the most important factor in us getting our new small business off the ground. Because health insurance for my family is now affordable, we have been able to grow our business, contribute to our retirements, enroll our kids in sports and activities, and participate more fully in the local economy because our money is not all going to health insurance and copays… If the law is dismantled, I am very worried we will lose our business that we have worked for six years to build. Before we got on our ACA insurance, we were paying over $1,000 a month and depleted our savings completely.”
Since the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, more than 68% of our state’s uninsured individuals have gained access to the quality and affordable health insurance they need — and a 129 million people across the country who would have been denied coverage for pre-existing conditions have access to health care.
As Attorney General for California, my office vigorously defended our nation’s health care reform — and I intend to do the same now that I am your U.S. Senator. I recognize that the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect, but there are millions of people relying on us to fix and reform the law, not repeal it.
Please take a moment to read some of the thousands of stories we have received over the last few weeks about why the Affordable Care Act matters to so many working people, and then please sign our petition demanding the Republicans end their attacks on the ACA.
“Obamacare is the reason I was able to finally get help for bipolar disorder, which went untreated for six years when I couldn’t afford insurance. During those six years, my struggle with mental illness took a toll on my relationships, work, and school. Not only did Obamacare make insurance more affordable for me, but it guaranteed that my insurance carrier could not deny me coverage for behavioral health. I credit the treatment I received with helping me to mend relationships with family and friends and lending me the stability and support to finish my Master’s degree and find work. If Obamacare is repealed, I could potentially lose access to insurance due to a preexisting condition, have my insurance price dramatically increase, or lose access to the psychiatric care and medication that has benefited me so much.”
“My son graduated from college. As he looks to find a job and a career it is a relief that he can stay on our health insurance for a while.”
“My 24-year-old old son is a full-time college student who suffers from debilitating cluster headaches. Thanks to Obamacare, he is able to remain on our medical insurance to receive treatment. Without it, he wouldn’t be able to afford his medication, which costs $800/box without prescription coverage. Nor would he be able to continue receiving Oxygen therapy, which provides him a drug-free, pain reliever choice so he can attend his college classes.”
“Prior to the Affordable Care Act, I had been without health insurance for 20 years because I could not afford it.”
“A few years before Obamacare existed, a loved one of mine in grad school with a pre-existing condition was unable to get insurance to cover the urgent treatment he needed. There’s no greater pain than watching someone close to you suffering needlessly, and seeing their life upended after a medical emergency. No one should have to worry that we won’t be alright when the unexpected happens.”
“Our 28-year-old daughter is passionate about her work with an educational non-profit organization. However, it has so few employees that it does not offer any health insurance. The ACA made it possible for her to purchase affordable health insurance and she is covered. Otherwise, she would have no health insurance at all.”
“My sister suffers from an incurable kidney disease. The medications she takes are expensive, and, before Obamacare, her insurance wouldn’t cover the number of pills she needed to take in a day, much less the whole month. She was uncoverable by some standards as she had a preexisting condition. Since Obamacare, she has been able to gain health insurance and keep herself from going into debt just to pay for her medications. People like my sister wouldn’t survive without Obamacare.”
“I am a 55 year old, self-employed, single female with epilepsy. Prior to the ACA being put in place I paid $1000/month to be covered by Kaiser (the only insurance that would cover me because of epilepsy.) The ACA has allowed me to start saving a little for retirement.”
It would be a national disgrace if our country stripped health benefits away from the most vulnerable among us. Instead, Republican leaders should do what the vast majority of Americans want: work with Democrats to advance commonsense reforms that will improve the law, not callously try to repeal it.
The success and failures of the ACA are not statistics or dollar signs; they are real people with real stories who are counting on us to do right by them.
I promised during the campaign that I would be on the frontlines of this fight if elected, and now that I am here, that is what I intend to do. Together, we will lead the resistance against any short-sighted legislation designed to gut our social contract for future generations.
Let’s get to work. Fight on.