Dear Mr. President:
I had something of an epiphany yesterday while marveling at the existence of undecided voters at this stage of the election. It occurred to me that these voters are likely the ones for whom one (deeply personal) issue will decide things. But I — and most other Americans — made up our minds long ago. Because you and Governor Romney represent two different visions of our nation’s past, present and future. You represent two value systems so distinct that, for most of us, it’s impossible to fathom how anyone could see this thing differently than we do.
In this election, there is one issue that is deeply personal to me: As a 29-year-old young adult with brain cancer, the Affordable Care Act, when it goes into full effect in 2014, will transform my life in ways I never imagined one piece of legislation could. On that day, the knowledge that I — someone with a chronic, pre-existing medical condition — can no longer be denied health insurance…or be kicked off my existing policy…or be told I’ve reached my lifetime cap will be an unimaginable burden lifted from my shoulders.
It will relieve the sometimes crushing anxiety that accompanies questions like What if I can’t work anymore? Or I lose my job? How would bankruptcy affect me? My family? What if I join the tens of thousands of Americans who die each year because their pre-existing conditions preclude them from obtaining health insurance and medical care?
But my decision was made long ago, and my vote this election would be the same regardless of this one, deeply personal issue. Because how could I not vote to make health insurance available to those who work three jobs to make ends meet but aren’t offered coverage by any of those employers? How could I not vote to ensure equal rights for all? To preserve women’s right to choose and equal pay for equal work? To care for our veterans, our seniors and the least fortunate among us? How could I not vote to fund quality education for young people and training programs for those who have lost their jobs and find themselves in search of new careers? How could I not vote for investment in clean energy and an approach to foreign relations that takes into account our global citizenship?
I’m not voting for a deeply personal issue. I’m voting for a deeply personal value system. I’m voting for the golden rule. Because we’re all in this together, and I’d want my fellow Americans to do the same for me.
Standing with you,