A Human Moment: Meet Brent Brown of Mosinee, Wisconsin
Even as I type this, President Obama is giving a big speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to congratulate them on winning the White House 20 City ACA Signup Challenge.
He was introduced by a man named Brent Brown, who had sent a letter to the President last June (I've expanded the letter itself to include the full text):
In June, I wrote this in a letter to the President:
To My President,
I sincerely hope that this reaches you, as far too often praise is hard to come by. Apologies to people who deserve it perhaps even less so.
I did not vote for you. Either time. I have voted Republican for the entirety of my life.
I proudly wore pins and planted banners displaying my Republican loyalty. I was very vocal in my opposition to you–particularly the ACA.
Before I briefly explain my story allow me to first say this: I am so very sorry. I understand written content cannot convey emotions very well–but my level of conviction has me in tears as I write this. I was so very wrong. So very very wrong.
You saved my life. I want that to sink into your ears and mind. My President, you saved my life, and I am eternally grateful.
I have a ‘pre-existing condition’ and so could never purchase health insurance. Only after the ACA came into being could I be covered. Put simply to not take up too much of your time if you are in fact taking the time to read this: I would not be alive without access to care I received due to your law.
So thank you from a dumb young man who thought he knew it all and who said things about you that he now regrets. Thank you for serving me even when I didn’t vote for you.
Thank you for being my President.
Honored to have lived under your leadership and guidance,
Brent Nathan Brown
The Affordable Care Act saved my life. I can now say, after several surgeries, that I'm in recovery from what was a serious autoimmune disease. Kicked it to the curb.
That is why I am so excited to welcome President Obama to Milwaukee. Today, he'll congratulate the people of Milwaukee on helping deliver the same health care that saved my life to so many in their community. Tune in to watch his speech at 2:50 p.m. Eastern.
Before the Affordable Care Act, I was unable to pay for an incredibly expensive drug that helps to stabilize my condition. So, because I was too poor to pay thousands of dollars for medicine every few weeks, my hospital trips were emergency ones, to keep me from dying. There was absolutely no hope -- and I was quickly running out of money.
I, like many fellow patients, was stuck between paying what I couldn't afford and going without the health care I needed.
Then the President signed this bill. I was against it at first -- very against it. But with the Affordable Care Act, I was finally able to receive the quality of care that had eluded me for years. I was able to consult the top surgeon in my state for the particular surgery I needed. I was able to receive the stabilizing drug that was always hidden behind a doctor's apology: "I'm sorry, Mr. Brown, we have to take your financial consideration into account." I was able to stay at one of the best equipped hospitals in my state for as long as I needed, without having to worry about checking myself out early because of cost concerns. I had hope.
I saw things change after the Affordable Care Act. People who were denied treatment because of exorbitant cost, well, they started to get that treatment. The millions of people who were locked out of health insurance due to pre-existing conditions were finally able to seek medical counsel. Those who were denied access to medications could now take them.
America started to take care of her own.
In just a little bit, President Obama will take the stage to help celebrate Milwaukee's victory in the Healthy Communities Challenge and talk about the progress we've made on health care as a nation.
We deserve to live in a country where everyone has the same access to quality care that I did. Watch his speech at 2:50 p.m. Eastern to hear how our President is making that happen.
I'm proud to welcome him to Wisconsin.