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The OFA Obamacare Summit: Stories from the past and inspiration for the future

Organizing for Action hosted the OFA Obamacare Summit on Monday in Washington, D.C. More than 200 attendees brought their enthusiasm for Obamacare—and their stories of the law is helping people in their communities.

As attendees checked in, many discussed how they have been fighting for years on this issue—and how great it was to be here at this moment when all that work pays off. Throughout the day, attendees learned new strategies and best practices for connecting people with the information they need to access quality, affordable care.

The first half of the summit included panel discussions, followed by a Q&A on "having the health care talk" and best practices for engaging communities around Obamacare.

Following the panel sessions, attendees separated into small breakout groups to discuss what's working, what they're hearing on the ground, and how to better collaborate to get out the facts about health care. One theme was clear throughout: personal stories held the key to successfully communicating about Obamacare—people must understand "what it means to me."

In the afternoon, OFA Obamacare Summit attendees were joined by a great line-up of speakers who thanked the crowd for years of effort, and acknowledged there is still more to do. Brad Woodhouse, President of Americans United for Change, said to the crowd, "With each passing day, more and more Americans are waking up for the first time knowing that they will have the security of quality, affordable health care. That is progress. We can’t let up now."

Other speakers included Dr. L. Toni Lewis, chair of SEIU Healthcare; Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood Federation of America Executive Vice President; former White House Senior Advisor David Plouffe; and Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts.

Governor Patrick emphasized the benefits Obamacare is already bringing to people: "Medical bills are the number one cause of personal bankruptcy in America—that ends with Obamacare. Twenty-five million Americans with a pre-existing condition either can't get or can't count on their insurance when they need it most—that ends with Obamacare."

The program concluded with a special appearance by President Obama. He began by thanking attendees for their dedication to this issue, then expanded on ways in which the Affordable Care Act is benefiting Americans by fixing a health care system that has been broken for years.

"Today, there are Americans whose lives have been saved by preventive care that they wouldn’t have gotten before. Today, there are Americans who can breathe easy again, free from the crushing fear that an illness or accident means they lose everything. So the rhetoric of reform is becoming the reality of reform. And we’re not going back."

See the highlights from last night for more, and get involved in spreading the word about Obamacare and helping more Americans get the information they need to get covered. Join Team Obamacare.

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