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Eight years ago, Eric H. was diagnosed with reduced kidney function, requiring immediate dialysis. Overall, he was healthy but now faced extensive medical expenses. Having the stigma of a pre-existing condition was a great concern for Eric and his family, as it made it difficult to purchase health insurance. Like millions of Americans, when President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law, Eric felt a huge sense of relief that his current medical condition wouldn’t prevent him from acquiring quality healthcare coverage he could afford.

As the Supreme Court debates healthcare reform this week, we asked Eric a few questions about his experiences with the Affordable Care Act and his support for President Obama.

How has the Affordable Care Act impacted your life?

Because the Affordable Care Act improved the Medicare Part D coverage gap, or “donut hole,” I now automatically receive a 50-percent discount on my very expensive prescription medications. That’s an important savings for me and my family.

Why do you think it’s so important that we prevent the repeal of the Affordable Care Act?

People with pre-existing conditions should be able to get affordable health insurance and prescription drug coverage without discriminatory practices – like gender discrimination that is often embedded within coverage. Without the Affordable Care Act, people like me would struggle to pay for the care and medicines we need.

What would you say to those who view the Affordable Care Act negatively?

I find that most people who view the Affordable Care Act negatively feel that the new law gives the Federal Government "too much involvement" in healthcare. I believe the Federal Government needs to be involved in the healthcare industry to force the insurance and drug companies to lower the exorbitant rates they have been charging Americans for decades.

Why do you support the president’s re-election in November?

I believe President Obama is on the right track to reverse our country’s struggles after eight years of Republican leadership. I feel the President is helping to decrease unemployment, actively fight terrorism, and hold large corporations responsible for paying their fair share in taxes.

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court is debating the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. On Thursday, we’ll be talking with women about the law as part of our Women’s Week of Action. Join the conversation in Columbia here: http://OFA.BO/V5gR9J or Charleston here: http://OFA.BO/rvbtNs. And visit http://OFA.BO/9NnSFu to find out how healthcare reform is working for you.

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