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Why We Fight

Why We Fight

Obamacare Literally Saved This Man’s Life

As we discussed on Wednesday, Obamacare is working and millions of Americans across the country are getting health insurance coverage thanks to the law, many for the very first time.

Today, we heard about one man’s story that reminds us why we fought so hard to pass the Affordable Care Act, why we’ve spent years defending it against relentless attacks from conservatives, and why we’re working to fully implement the law and get people signed up for coverage.

Mike O’Dell, 41, was able to obtain a heart transplant and the care he needs thanks to an affordable Obamacare health insurance plan that kicked in January 1:

He couldn’t get private health insurance because of his pre-existing heart condition. But as of January 1, with the health care law, insurers can no longer deny coverage. O’Dell and his wife were able to get coverage through the health insurance marketplace for $190 a month. That allowed him to go on the transplant waiting list.

“He wouldn’t be here with me or my children if it weren’t for the Obamacare,” said O’Dell’s wife, Kate.

And his doctors say he clearly wouldn’t have lived long if he hadn’t received the gift of a stranger’s heart last week.

Kansas, O’Dell’s home state, is one of the few states that has done almost nothing to implement the Affordable Care Act. It has also refused to expand Medicaid coverage to almost 100,000 low-income Kansans that would otherwise be newly-eligible under the law. Thankfully, more than 22,000 Kansans (and 3.3 MILLION other Americans) have been able to select a private plan through the insurance marketplace, despite the GOP’s efforts to sabotage the law.

As O’Dell’s story showcases, having health coverage isn’t just about carrying an insurance card around in your pocket, it can be a matter of life and death. A new study found that an average of between 19 to 47 people will die each day, including as many as one every day or so in Kansas, simply because Republican governors and state legislators refuse to expand Medicaid.

BOTTOM LINE: The Affordable Care Act is already helping tens of millions of Americans every day and is literally a matter of life and death for some. That’s why we can never go back to the way it was before.