Dear President Obama,
I am writing to tell you THANK YOU for having the courage and conviction to make sure every American has access to health insurance.
I am a 49-year-old college educated single woman. I have worked since I was fifteen and have been lucky to have a pretty successful career and a healthy life and because of that I didn't think much about our nations health care. My employer had always provided insurance and besides feeling like the insurance companies did not really have our best interest at heart it was not much of a concern.
About five to six years ago I was diagnosed with Lupus. After finally being diagnosed and put on the correct medication I am still living a pretty healthy and pain free life so again I was not overly concerned with health care until I decided I wanted to pursue my life long dream of starting my own business.
My business partner and I started our company in February 2011 and that is when everything changed. I was willing to take the leap, give up a pretty lucrative salary and go for it. What I didn't realize was that although I am very healthy other than the two pills I take daily for my Lupus I would still be denied any chance at health coverage even though I was willing to pay any amount to be covered for major medical. To be honest I was completely shocked that I could live and work in the United States of America and be denied any form of health care. For months I thought they must be mistaken.
I had Cobra for 18 months at $550 per month after that nothing. I cannot tell you the sinking feeling i had that at any moment everything I worked for my entire life could be gone due to a serious illness or injury. The sad fact is that I might have been able to apply for disability and live off the government but I am still very capable of working and want to provide for myself. I was willing to pay any amount for just a piece of mind. The pressure of starting a new business and worrying about health care is overwhelming. I felt like a ticking bomb could go off at any moment and I would loose my savings, house, everything. I literally held my breath until 2014.
The day the marketplace opened I had calls and emails from friends and family who had been concerned for me for the last two years, reminding me that today I could apply for health care. I cried the day I was finally able to sign up for coverage. I felt like a fifty-pound weight was lifted from my shoulders. I finally had good coverage, better than I had expected really for $197.00 per month. I'm not sure I have ever had a more peaceful nights sleep. This is the definition of a hand up, not a hand out.
I am still scared that the next President will repeal our healthcare but I guess we will worry about that when the time comes. I can assure you everyone complaining and criticizing the health care plan are people who already have health insurance for their families. I can also assure you that the citizens like myself that have been waiting years for health insurance were more than fine with waiting a little time for the system to be worked out. In fact they called me when the system was ready to help me complete my coverage. It was an easy process and a good experience for me.
I can only imagine that the constant criticism must be hard to ignore and I am not sure there are many men or women that would be able to stay strong for the good of the people. For the Americans like me you are literally saving lives and we are forever grateful. Unfortunately i don't think we are vocal as the naysayers and you deserve to know that there are millions of Americans who appreciate your courage. I have never a letter to a public figure in my life but I think you deserve to know that your presidency is making a difference.