A sobbing woman hugged President Obama after a campaign event in Sandusky, Ohio, on Thursday. Stephanie Miller said that the life of her 37-year-old sister, Kelly Hines, who died of colon cancer four years ago, could have been saved had she been insured.
According to C&L, Miller stood near the front of the rope line where she would be able to catch the President's attention. When she finally caught his attention, she hugged him tearfully and thanked him for "sticking to his guns and getting the Affordable Care Act through."
The Huffiington Post reports that Miller told Obama her story. He answered that he was sorry about her sister and that he would keep her in his thoughts. Miller said Obama told her that "he would keep on fighting for us and that our fight is not over."
According to Miller, her sister, Hines, was uninsured when she was diagnosed with colon cancer. She was a single mother working to support two sons. She applied for Medicaid but was told she did not meet the program's financial requirements. Miller says Hines took a new job where she got an employer-sponsored healthcare coverage. However, as a new employee, she was required to be present in her workplace. This interfered with her cancer treatment.
According to The Huffington Post, Miller said her sister worked between 40 to 80 hours a week even while she weakened from cancer. She said: "She worked until she couldn't anymore so that she could provide for her kids."
After a 15-month struggle Hines died, leaving behind two sons, 10 and 15 at the time. Miller says Obama's Affordable Care Act could have saved her sister's life.
Miller, according to The Huffington Post, says that neither she nor her two daughters, both in their 20s, have health insurance. She says her new employer will not provide coverage until after she completes a one-year probationary period on the job. Miller says that meanwhile her medical bills are piling up.
When she was asked how she reacted to the news that the Affordable Care Act had been upheld by the Supreme Court, she enthused:
"Oh my God, I blew up my Facebook page congratulating President Obama [and] thanking him. It was a historic day for our country. We needed that desperately. I know what it's like to watch somebody that you love die from a disease that had they been able to have health care [coverage], they could still be here. Nobody should ever have to go through that. Her sons should not have to suffer without their mother."C&L quotes Joan McCarter, writing on Daily Kos, saying: "That's the status quo Republicans are fighting tooth and nail to return to: needless, premature, painful death for people who aren't lucky enough to have won in the health insurance lottery."