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The Faces of Health Care: Naomi R.

Naomi, an organic farmer in rural Georgia, wrote the President to thank him for the Affordable Care Act -- the very first time she'd ever written a president.

"I had no health insurance. I visited our local doctor but could not afford x-rays, much less any type of surgery. The affordable solution was pain medication. … Then the ACA happened."

Naomi is a 62-year-old organic farmer living in rural Georgia. She has had Rheumatoid Arthritis -- diagnosed when she was in high school -- nearly her entire life, managing it on her own, without health insurance, with a proper diet and exercise.

Then, about three years ago, she found she could no longer climb onto her tractor, bend down to pull weeds, or harvest her crops.

“I started to use a cane to walk with," she wrote the President. "I could barely feed and water my flock of free-range chickens...I started to wonder how long I could handle that level of pain and think of alternatives."

Then, as Naomi said, the ACA happened. A widower, she lives off her husband's Social Security, and so she qualified for tax credits that have put her monthly premiums under $5 a month. She found an orthopedist nearby, got x-rays -- which showed no cartilage on either hip -- and scheduled a right hip replacement.

This past June, she was able to climb on her tractor for the first time in four years. 

She says that once she gets her left hip replaced, she will be "dancing with joy." 

"Thank you for giving me my life back," she wrote in closing.

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