I am writing about the article “Obama makes pitch to congress to preserve health care law.” I am a Republican and I too was very opposed to the Affordable Care Act. I was afraid of death panels, government overreach, and free loaders, until I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.

I am remission, but still realize that I am completely uninsurable, if the preexisting condition clause would disappear. Our state uninsured population has dropped by 35 percent from 2010, 137,000 Kansas residents use the health exchange, and one-third of our population uses Medicaid or Medicare.

Before Obamacare, half of all bankruptcies were due to medical bills. How, as a country, can we allow people to lose their livelihood due to medical bills?

GOP lawmakers’ stand on health care is an absolute assault on people in the lower middle class, including low-wage full time workers, young families, and our very vulnerable elderly. Decent health insurance helps our citizens rise above the poverty line to the middle class, and allows people to get off food stamps and subsidized housing. In our state, you can only be eligible for Medicaid if you have children, which is unfortunate because most people near the poverty line are working full or multiple part-times jobs, just not well paying jobs with benefits. Kansas is essentially incentivizing these folks to have children that they can not fiscally afford.

Don’t these hard working folks deserve health insurance? Is it not better to have a healthy workforce with insurance, rather than incentivize people to have children and live below the poverty line and thus be eligible for Medicaid?

— Shannon O’Connel lives in Galva.