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Letter of the Week—August 30th, 2011

Every week, the Chicago HQ receives hundreds of letters and emails from supporters. Starting today, we’ll be sharing one (or more) of our favorites from each batch.

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to personally thank you for your work for health care reform. I am writing mainly as a parent, who has been personally impacted by the bill. Incidentally, I am also a primary care physician.

My daughter, at 16 years old (six years ago), was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC), a type of inflammatory bowel disease only affecting the colon. The cause of UC is unknown. Doctors tested for a genetic disposition for the illness, which was not present.

Over the last six years, my daughter has had multiple hospitalizations, surgeries, procedures and received many expensive medications. During this time, she finished high school and somehow managed to graduate magna cum laude from college. Within a month after graduating in December, she traveled to Cleveland Clinic for a final (and hopefully) curative surgery.

The [Affordable Care Act] allowed my daughter to stay on my insurance to receive this expensive and curative procedure. Otherwise, after graduating from college, my daughter would be uninsurable due to a pre-existing condition. I was incredibly grateful for this law. Without it my daughter would [be] unlikely [to have] coverage. She is now applying to teaching programs and graduate school. Thank you so much for your work to allow my daughter to continue to receive health care.

During the course of things, when I mentioned my concerns about getting my daughter insurance, numerous people suggested she be put on disability after graduating from college. I was appalled at this idea! Neither she nor I wanted government assistance, just the opportunity to receive medical insurance as most persons do. Because of the [Affordable Care Act], she can transition to a working person without fear of losing her coverage. Prior to getting sick at 16 years old, she had minimal encounters with the health care system.

Health and access to health care is not a Democratic or Republican issue, it is a human issue. Most health care providers did not go into this field to treat persons of one party or religion or color, just to provide a skilled service to their patients. Illness and disease don’t discriminate by wealth.

Thank you so much for your work to make health care accessible to more Americans.



This is an abridged version of Fran’s original letter.

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