As Black History Month concludes and we approach the anniversary of the Affordable Care Act, I thought it was appropriate to reflect on how the Presidency of Barack Obama has affected my life personally and that of many citizens of this Nation. As a staff member of the AFSCME International, I was assigned to work in Chicago on then State Senator, Barack Obama’s U.S. Senate campaign. So it was easy for me to commit to be his first Super Delegate in the State of Indiana when he ran for President.
I have two granddaughters who are attending college, one at Hampton University who graduates in May and another at Butler University. Their mother was laid off from her job two years ago, and was recently diagnosed with congestive heart failure caused in part by stress. My daughter’s care is paid for through the Medicaid Insurance Program, and I pay for the girls insurance through each of their college health insurance programs.
Thankfully, President Obama has been looking out for my daughter and granddaughters. He fought to protect Medicaid, which allows my daughter to get affordable care. He passed landmark healthcare reform which will allow my granddaughters to keep their coverage until age 26, and ensure they won’t be discriminated against because of a pre-existing condition.
As a retired former AFSCME International Union staff representative, I have been able to pay for their tuition, room and board through a monthly payment plan. The girls have also worked while attending school and during the summer, but without the help of the Pell Grant program I don’t know if they would be able to go to college. I thank him every day for expanding the Pell Grant program, and for making college a reality for millions of other young children.
During the summer of 2011 both girls were blessed to have been accepted into the AmeriCorps program, and given the opportunity to serve their communities. The AmeriCorp program pays for tuition and has provided me some financial relief.
My husband worked as a pharmacist for 45 years before retiring. Shortly afterwards, he was diagnosed with kidney failure and prostate cancer and is now on dialysis, but if it wasn’t for Medicare, he may not be alive today and we would be bankrupt.
I am grateful President Obama continues to fight for Medicare (not entitlement program) that President Lyndon Johnson passed nearly 50 years ago. It has made a difference in the lives of countless Americans, and we can count on President Obama to look out for those in need and fight back against the Republicans who want to gut these critical programs. I will be forever grateful that President Obama has been the leader of our time. The best way to reward him is to get out and vote for him in November.
To learn more about the President’s accomplishments click here.