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A note of thanks and a call for vigilance

I was relieved to learn that because the Senate’s Obamacare repeal vote failed at the end of July, my health insurance is safe (for now). I have stage 4 cancer (Hodgkin’s lymphoma), and Obamacare is keeping me alive—so this is not an academic fight for me, it’s whether I get to live.

I’m a small business owner in Las Vegas, and the Affordable Care Act is how I get my insurance. I have a market-rate policy on the exchange, no subsidies—which is as it should be, because the tax credits should be for people who need them. There is no Plan B for me. I don’t have a spouse’s policy to fall back on.

I want to thank everybody who has made calls, gone to protests, and contacted their senators again and again. Your work made a difference. Your work made THE difference. We needed at least three Republican senators to stand up for us and for the millions of Americans that benefit from Medicaid or that face pre-existing conditions like mine. And thanks to you, we got those votes.

In the chemo room over the past few weeks, we have been talking about health care reform over and over. As patients fighting cancer, we’re usually pretty good about not sweating the small stuff, but we were all terrified of this—because whether or not you have private insurance, the various bills being discussed by Congress put you at risk.

My senator, Senator Heller, flip-flopped all over the place and finally landed on a position that sold me and hundreds of thousands of Nevadans out in favor of his billionaire donors. And he’s not done yet—before the break, he was pushing yet another destructive version of repeal.

Our fight may be over for now, but we can’t think of this as anything more than a temporary victory while Congress is on their summer recess. They haven’t given up on the idea of taking away our health care, so we must be vigilant and not give up on defending it either.

Again, thank you for all you did and all you continue to do. I know I can beat cancer, I just need to keep my insurance to do it. I hope that all our senators return to Washington after their break with the mission to fix the problems with our current health system, not blow it up and leave me and my friends to suffer and die.

Laura has been an outspoken advocate of the Affordable Care Act. See her video here.
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