An Open Letter To Senator John McCain On The Graham-Cassidy Bill

by Kathy Soppet
Originally Published: 
The Washington Post / Contributor

Senator McCain,

You are an American hero. You have dedicated your life to serving our great country, and I thank you. You have gone through things many of us could never imagine, and have prevailed. You are going through a health crisis right now which I hope and pray you will fully recover from.

So I know you understand what it means to be sick, to suffer, and to fight back. Just like millions of Americans are doing right at this moment. I know you understand what it means to pray for your children when they are ill and to look into their eyes and tell them that they will get better because they know you will do everything possible to make sure that they will.

A parent loves their children more than they love themselves. From the moment we first look into their eyes, they are forever a part of us. They are forever a part of our hearts.

So it is no surprise that every time they get a cut or scrape, we are there to bandage them up. When they have a mystery illness, we take them to as many doctors as we can, until a treatment is found.

When they fall, we help to pick them up off the ground. That’s what good parents do.

I am writing to you as a parent, as a chronically ill person, and as an American. I am writing to you to ask you to please show the courage and maverick spirit you are known for and vote no to the Graham-Cassidy bill or any version of Trumpcare. Please work together with other Senators to improve the Affordable Care Act which is helping millions of people and families like mine get the treatment they need, without going bankrupt, or being dropped from coverage because of our many pre-existing conditions. Most Americans want this to happen. Please help lead the way.

We never know what tomorrow will bring. We hope for good health and happiness, but face many bumps on the road. A year ago, almost to the day, I almost died. It was shocking, unexpected, traumatic, and life-changing. I was diagnosed with multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms.

Because of our health insurance, I was able to go to the ER where they found my blood clots. I received excellent care as I was in the hospital for three days. They saved my life. My children still have a mom because of them and because of protections of the Affordable Health Care Act. I was able to continue my care with a board certified hematologist who took good care of me and gave me blood-thinners and blood tests which helped to heal me. My recovery took a long time but now I am able to walk my kids to school and watch them grow into loving, caring people thanks to senators like you, Murkowski, Collins, and the Democrats who said no to Trumpcare.

My son suffers from life-threatening food allergies, asthma, and recurrent croup. He frequently goes to doctors and specialists who help to keep him healthy and alive. He has been to the ER many times. He is still here thanks to his health care, his doctors, and senators like you who did not let him down. When you look at your 4-year-old son who is turning blue and struggling to breathe a few times, you change. You become frightened, you educate yourself, and you become his advocate. You fight to make sure that your family’s healthcare is not taken away due to many preexisting conditions or other issues. You do not want to become bankrupt just to keep your family alive. You shouldn’t have to.

I’m advocating for him, my whole family, and many Americans right now who desperately need you to do the right thing once again. Please hear the millions of voices calling out to you.

I will never forget the sight of you giving a thumbs down to Trumpcare on July 28, 2017. It was a spectacular sight. I was so proud of you at that moment. You didn’t let us down. Millions of us were able to breathe a collective sigh of relief. I will tell my children about you and what you did that night. I will show them the clips and news stories, and how you and your colleagues saved our family and many others.

When a nation falls, we help to pick people up from the ground. That’s what good senators do.

Thank you for being one of them. Please help us once again to maintain our dignity as we fight to heal ourselves and our children. Please vote no on the Graham-Cassidy bill or any other versions of it.

Sickness, disabilities, and getting good health care are like a personal battlefield. Please show us your courage once more. Please lead the fight and help us all prevail. Our future is literally in your hopefully thumbs down hands.

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