For four years, Stephanie Miller, whose 37 year old sister Kelly Hines died of colon cancer four years ago, has wanted to tell President Obama her sister’s story. Yesterday in Ohio, the nation was moved as Stephanie got to not only tell Obama her heartbreaking story, but she also got a big hug from the President.
And then she got the backlash. By last night, the Right wing was in full attack mode, calling her a plant replete with accusations of conjuring evil and issuing fake tears over her sister’s death, claiming her sister deserved what she got because she “chose not to get insurance.”
Ms. Miller believes that if Obama Care had been in place four years ago, her sister might still be with her. Her sister was a hard working single mom of two young boys. She couldn’t afford healthcare. Instead of using the money for herself to go to the doctor, she made sure her boys went.
For Stephanie, the passage of ACA meant that her sister didn’t die in vain, because no other family would have to go through what her family went through. Had her sister’s colon cancer been caught earlier, she would have had a much better chance of survival.
Speaking on Alan Colmes’ radio show last night, Stephanie said the President’s reaction was to say he was sorry for her family’s loss, and then he asked for the name of her sister, which Stephanie provided. The President said Kelly (Stephanie’s sister) would be in his thoughts every day as he fights for us all. Then Obama hugged Stephanie, surprising her because she didn’t expect her sister’s story to matter so much to the President of the United States.
Ms. Miller thinks that once people realize Obama Care isn’t the monster people think it is they will wonder why they were scared of it. Stephanie doesn’t have health insurance either right now, she has to work for a year before she qualifies to get insurance.
Speaking of monsters, right before Ms. Miller was on Colmes’ show, Alan and I were treated to a frothing conservative barrage on Twitter (I am @srjones66). Here’s a sampling, from evil to fake tears to her sister deserved it – it’s enough to make a patriot weep for their country:
@FunraiseDesigns: @AlanColmes she is a Plant she chose not to get insurance. You are a Lying propaganda Socialist Pig @srjones66
To put this in perspective, this guy also tweeted:
@FunraiseDesigns: @srjones66 @AlanColmes I have God you Have OBAMA I feel sorry for you and your False Idol OBAMA, srjones66 666 evil#
@FunraiseDesigns: @srjones66 @AlanColmes You both Haters of the Truth, sister’s using her sisters death for her Idol Obama, disgusting Fake tears
@FunraiseDesigns: @srjones66 Oh and be careful since udon’t look up you’ll won’t see the House fall on top, or stay out of the water LOL
Here’s a few more:
@RememberComeNov: How will your audience know who’s who? MT @alancolmes: on radio with me at 10:15 http://www.alancolmesradio.com @srjones66: Sobbing Woman Thanks Obama
@tonybalogna: @AlanColmes @srjones66 Exploiting mentally ill people to make Obamacare look better than it is. Nice morals, Dems.
@AVISOinsurance: @AlanColmes @srjones66 Man, Is she about to be disappointed!
Alan Colmes brought up the right wing attacks, but Stephanie is no shrinking violet. She pointed out that while yesterday was the four year anniversary of her sister’s death, she knew there would be a lot of negative reaction but it doesn’t bother her.
For her, yesterday was a once in a lifetime chance to tell the President her sister’s story, “I didn’t think I would actually be able to talk to him (Obama). I was fortunate enough to get close enough to touch him. And I decided it was now or never to tell him her story and he was gracious enough to stand there and let me tell him her story.”
Is the Right wing simply refusing to accept the fact that people in this country actually die from lack of health insurance? They seem to believe that people can afford insurance but choose not to purchase it (this is actually an argument for Obama Care as it will make insurance affordable for everyone, but we’ll let this intellectual lapse go). In Stephanie’s sister’s case, her income was too high for Medicaid. This is a common problem for middle-income families. They make too much to be eligible for help, but not enough to pay the hundreds of thousands of dollars it takes to fight a disease like cancer.
Here’s the deal. Nearly 50 million people in this country don’t have access to healthcare and more are going broke paying for it. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 23 million of those without health care are white, 15.3 million are Hispanic, 8 million are black, 2.6 million are Asian. However, the percentages show that 1 in 10 white people are without insurance, while 2 out of 10 black people, 3 out of 10 Hispanics and 2 out of 10 Asians are without health insurance. Those without healthcare have shorter life spans.
Our healthcare system was broken before Obama Care. Good people — hard working people — died for lack of access. Their children died. We are 37th among industrialized nation for healthcare according to the World Health Organization. France is number 1. This is not exceptional; it’s completely unacceptable.
Stephanie rightly observed that Obama Care is going to change people’s lives and she hopes it isn’t repealed, “This bill will positively affect millions of people in this country. If somehow someone else gets into office and they repeal this bill, those same people will be negatively impacted.”
For her trouble, Ms. Miller is being targeted and her loss is being cruelly mocked. Of course, Stephanie works at a prison, so I’m thinking she might be more immune to intimidation than they expected. They won’t get her to back down with juvenile, cold-hearted name-calling.
Americans like Stephanie Miller have a story to tell, and tell it they will. No frothing right wing trolls are going to tread on their Real American Stories.
This is a real American story; the story of a family who lost a loved one, who might have been saved if only she had had access to affordable health insurance. In a nation with 50 million uninsured, too many can relate to this story. It’s a story that didn’t have to be, and won’t be once the Affordable Care Act is implemented fully. Inevitably, the woman behind this story is now being ruthlessly attacked by anti-healthcare conservatives.
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