March 15, 2016
Dear President Obama,
Next week, the Affordable Care Act will be six years old, and in a way, so will I. I’ll be six years removed from college, six years into the beginning of adult life and career, and six years indebted to you for making it all possible.
How vividly I remember that warm spring day in 2010, only a few weeks before my graduation from American University! The sun was shining, and my face hurt from smiling — it was like a dream. Suddenly, incredibly, I could look ahead to commencement in May with a giant weight lifted from my shoulders.
I could begin my job search with the security of knowing I could continue health care coverage on my parents’ plan for a few more years.
I graduated. Absent the pressure to immediately find a job with benefits, I secured an internship that didn’t offer health care, but allowed me to pay my bills and gain experience. I worked hard, and that internship soon led to a full-time position with benefits in a field that I adore. ACA made it all possible.
Meanwhile, my now-fiancée was attending community college. In 2011, he decided to enroll in a new program in Energy Utility Technology — a program that, incidentally, was created and funded by a Recovery Act grant from the Department of Energy. After graduation he was hired as a technician by our local utility company — a job he absolutely loves, but never would have had the opportunity to pursue if not for the Recovery Act.
When I look back on it all, I’m truly amazed: Two of the defining policy achievements of your presidency have directly impacted our lives and our careers in a way that I never could have imagined when, as a student at American, I watched Senator Ted Kennedy endorse you in 2008. Then, I was inspired. Now? I am overwhelmed with gratitude.
Our jobs, our little house, our upcoming wedding this June — everything we have in life, everything we’ve been able to work towards, and to afford — we have because you set us up to succeed in a way no one else could have done.
I strongly feel that my personal milestones bear the stamp of the country’s progress over these past eight years, and I will never take for granted what you’ve done for us.
With sincere thanks and great hope for the future,