Thao Nguyen
Thao Nguyen is a songwriter and musician and frontwoman of Thao with The Get Down Stay Down. She very much hopes we don't go backwards.

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REASON 11: Obama cares about women's health and he proved it.

Last October, I went to the gynecologist for my annual exam. I brought my insurance card to prove I had some, and against my better judgment, I harbored an optimism that after the co-pay they would ask nothing more of me. This was misguided on my part, because as long as I have had my own health insurance I have always had to pay far more than the co-pay. I have what they call catastrophic health insurance. What they tell me is in case of dire, limb-losing, head- bashing, totally-unplanned-for bodily harm, I can go to the hospital, and in addition, I can visit a cast of providers once or twice a year on their terms, their terms being "we will decide on a case by case basis, the basis of which we are not telling." Every time I go for a routine checkup of any part of myself I receive a bill for two hundred dollars and a printout telling me my insurance refused to cover it. Then I mutter dryly: catastrophic health insurance.

So after this gyno exam in October, they of course sent a bill for the entirety of the exam, and I again joined the inauspicious, heretofore- truly-American ranks of those who fall and flail at the whim of insurance companies.

I've been fortunate enough to have had resources to cover all that my health insurance would not—albeit ferociously grudgingly and not until they sent multiple collection notices. I know that for many, these additional costs equal no exams, no follow-ups, no screenings, no real health care in a nation that has the means and the moral duty to provide for its people.

In March 2010, Barack Obama signed into law the Affordable Health Care Act. Last June, the Supreme Court upheld the decision. Mitt Romney has declared that if elected he will repeal the law because his politics neither prioritize nor support the health and welfare of the common. The Obama administration’s Affordable Health Care Act allows access to care for millions of Americans who would otherwise be forced to forego medical attention and upkeep because their financial straits do not allow for such “luxuries.” Under this law, those with pre-existing conditions can get coverage, young adults can stay on their parents' plans longer, older Americans with Medicare can better afford their prescriptions, and millions of women like myself will gain free access to imperative services and treatment.

Friends, can you fathom: annual screenings and exams and access to birth control and STI education and domestic violence counseling, among other benefits—rightly provided free of charge for women with existing health plans? Groundbreaking in a nation so fraught with torrential battles for control over women's bodies and health, at the same time so clearly overdue that the fact it is groundbreaking is an alarm. More alarming still is we stand to lose all the coverage that has been gained if we do not re-elect President Obama. I don't just mean medical coverage, I mean the sense of security in knowing that our president cares so much more about us than the man who would like to take his job.

I'm voting for Barack Obama in November because I want the one who had the humanity and vision and respect to help provide health care for his country in a way no president has before. Please join me, for our sake.

Thao Nguyen
  San Francisco, California

Read the next essay →

REASON 53:
If Mitt Romney is elected, insurance companies will continue to discriminate against Americans with pre-existing conditions. read essay →

REASON 76:
Life is a pre-existing condition.read essay →

REASON 88:
Obama has worked to end the war on drug users.read essay →