My name is Susan, and I would like to share with you my personal story.
My husband is on disability. Decades of working in construction left him with chronic back pain, a high tolerance for pain medication and, eventually, depression. For years he was seeing a number of health care professionals and taking multiple medications at once, leaving us with thousands of dollars in hospital fees and doctors’ bills each month. Our co-payments were so high that we realized the only way to ease our burden was to declare bankruptcy. It’s horrible to realize that your income is no longer enough to live, that you can’t support your family.
But since President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, our spirits have improved. My husband’s depression is no longer considered a preexisting condition. We save money on bills and prescriptions because the professionals treating my husband now have to communicate with each other about his care. We’re also able to access Medicare now, which helps us pay for his medical expenses.
My husband and I feel much more secure now. We know that insurance companies and health care professionals can be held accountable to make my husband’s treatment more efficient and effective, without a tangle of medications and side-effects and trips back and forth to the hospital each month. That’s what President Obama’s health care reform signifies to us: patient protection from predatory practices and sky-high co-pays.
It’s not that we’re freeloaders. My husband and I don’t want to waste taxpayers’ money. I spent the last two decades working two jobs, but couldn’t get ahead and struggled to pay for my graduate school loans (for which, also thanks to President Obama, I’ve been able to switch to a more manageable payment plan). But in times of crisis, we needed assistance – and President Obama helped us.
I realize now that it’s because President Obama cares about ordinary people just like me and my husband. I feel sorry I didn’t vote for him in 2008 now that I realize how much he’s done for me and my family. And now my husband, for the first time in his life, is voting for a Democratic president.