An Open Letter To Pat Toomey
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Politics and Activism

An Open Letter To Pat Toomey

I don't think you believe that people shouldn't be insured — here's why.

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An Open Letter To Pat Toomey
University of Nebraska, Omaha

Although your position on the Affordable Care Act is the opposite of mine (as are most of your politics), I know we both care about making sure that people get the care they need. I will concede that Obamacare is not a perfect policy, But, repealing it would force many people to have to make the choice between getting the healthcare that they need and forcing their themselves and their families into bankruptcy, or deny treatment and suffer because of it.

As you showed with your intervention in the case of Sarah Murnaghan, you are no stranger to the turmoil of healthcare in our country. Sarah was a 10-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis with weeks to live. She, like thousands of Americans, was on the waitlist for a lung transplant that would almost certainly save her life. The law at the time didn’t allow for Sarah to receive a pair of adult lungs, so she was waiting for a child to be able to donate theirs. This meant that she was waiting for quite a long time on the wait list. YOU, Senator Toomey, forced her ahead of other people on the wait list, and changed this policy to allow children to receive adult lungs. No matter your opinion on whether this was fair to the adults above her on the waitlist or not, what this action says to me is that you have compassion, and that you care that patients get the healthcare they deserve. In fact, you care enough to intervene in the case of a child you didn’t even know before she was in the hospital, and to change legislation so that pediatric patients don’t have to wait as long for a transplant.

When I read about this, and how much work you had to have put in to make this happen, I was blown away. How could someone this passionate about just one stranger and her family want to force hundreds of thousands of strangers and their families like Sarah’s to lose their health insurance? How could you, the man whose intervention saved the life of a 10-year-old girl with cystic fibrosis, a chronic condition, dismiss millions of others of Americans in situations just like hers? And what about Sarah now? She, and hundreds of thousands of other people just like her are not worthy of health insurance or affordable healthcare in your eyes?

Now, I don’t know you. But I have been directly affected by government officials with opinions like yours. You've hung up on women fighting for women's reproduction rights and have compared insuring people with pre-existing conditions to insuring buildings after they’d already burned down. What you said to me by saying this is that all people that have had cancer or any other health trouble, including my mother, a strong, hardworking woman, is not worthy of affordable healthcare, or any sort of health insurance. You want these people to have to choose between getting much-needed medical care and putting dinner on the table. Now, I know that insurance costs went up for a lot of people under the Affordable Care Act. But I also know that it forced insurance companies to insure people that couldn’t be insured before. It allowed people that don’t have the money to pay for a good insurance plan, let alone chemotherapy or medications that they desperately need, to finally have access to the care without having to worry as much about putting money on the table or going deep into debt just to stay alive and functioning. It allowed for people with chronic, debilitating illnesses to be approved for healthcare. When you are crunching your numbers, trying to help insurance companies remain as profitable as possible, ask yourself—what is the price of these lives? Please, when you are voting on the Affordable Care Act in the future, remember Sarah, remember me, and remember all the families that rely on that healthcare to survive.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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