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This election is personal

If you ask supporters from Sioux City to Miami why they support President Obama, they'll tell you stories about their kids, their grandkids, their student loan debt. "2008 was historic; 2012 is personal" is more than a campaign catchphrase—it's a reality for so many folks like Jack, who stopped by a Gotta Vote event near his home in Coconut Creek, Florida, yesterday. This year really is personal.

"Requiring insurance companies to accept patients with pre-existing conditions is a monumental achievement," Jack says. "I know that from personal experience. I have a grandson who has an inoperable brain tumor. He also is autistic. He also has epilepsy. Talk about pre-existing conditions. He will not have to worry about being covered by an insurance policy because he has those pre-existing conditions.

"I'm diabetic. I have ischemic cardiomyopathy, a very serious heart condition. I've had four heart attacks and a quintuple bypass, and I have a defibrillator implanted in my chest. I know about pre-existing conditions. Thanks to President Obama, I can't be denied insurance because of those conditions. Neither can a little kid with asthma. That's monumental, and Mitt Romney would repeal it."

This election is personal.

"I'm over 65, and I'm on Medicare. I don't want Medicare turned into voucher program, and if Romney is elected, Medicare will be a voucher program. Social Security could be privatized. The doughnut hole will be back open for Medicare recipients. There are so many issues related to health care and Medicare. My kids are in their 30s and 40s now, and they will need to be on Medicare someday—they've been paying into the system most of their lives."

This election is personal.

"I have two grandchildren who are just recently out of high school. Romney doesn't like the idea of Pell Grants. President Obama supports Pell Grants. Romney doesn't like the idea that the middle man has been taken out of the student loan program. He would put that back in. President Obama has made it so much easier and less expensive for college students to get loans for their tuition. That's extraordinarily important. I don't think Romney understands the importance of community colleges. President Obama has shown he does."

This election is personal.

"I'm a disabled veteran. I see such a difference under President Obama in how veterans are being cared for, in how veterans are respected. There are programs for homeless veterans that have been put into effect. There are veterans court programs that have cropped up around the country. We have a commander in chief who respects, appreciates, and cares for veterans. Romney never even mentioned veterans in any of the debates or in his convention speech."

So when you head to your polling place 10 days from now (or if you live in an early voting state, today), stop and think about Jack and how he's voting on behalf of his grandkids and the millions of Americans who have a pre-existing condition. Then think about who you're casting your ballot for. It might be a friend who's finally working again, a brother who returned home from Iraq, a parent who can't afford to lose the guaranteed promise of Medicare, a daughter who can take a career risk because she's covered by your health insurance till she's 26. It might be for yourself.

Make this election personal.

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