An Open Letter to my State and Federal Government Representatives

November 12, 2016

The following is a letter that I wrote and mailed (not email, but in a real envelope, with a stamp and everything) to my representatives in the United States Congress, and the West Virginia House of Delegates and Senate. This includes Shelley Moore Capito, Joe Manchin III, Alex Mooney, Craig Blair, Charles Trump IV, & Daryl Cowles.

Dear [Representative's Name],

One of Donald Trumpís foremost campaign promises was the repeal the Affordable Care Act. I realize that the Republicans in both the U.S. House of Representative and the U.S. Senate have voted to repeal the ACA on multiple occasions, and now that Donald Trump will take office as President in January, it seems even more likely that the repeal will come to fruition. The purpose of this letter is to implore you to preserve the Medicaid expansion, and to support the preservation of the ACA.

The ACA has improved my life, and the lives of so many people I know. Before the Medicaid expansion, a large percentage of my income as a freelance musician went to paying for private health insurance. In spite of constant premium increases, high copays, and limited coverage, I continued to spend a lot of my money on this insurance because I was afraid that a terrible accident or illness would bankrupt my family if I didnít.

As I entered my 30ís I decided that I wanted to go back to college and start a new career, but finding the money to do so was difficult. It was then that the Medicaid expansion allowed me to drop my expensive private insurance. The money I saved allowed me to begin a new chapter in my life. I went back to college, and next month I will graduate from Shepherd University with a degree in computer information technology. This career will allow me to make a better life for myself and my family. I will also be paying much more in taxes than I did as a musician, and I couldnít be more proud to know that those taxes could be used to help people who are in a similar situation to the one I was in.

I realize that the ACA is not a perfect solution to all of the United Statesí health care problems, but I believe that it was a good start. It would be a shame to throw away all of the improvements it made. Iím about to enter a wonderful new phase in my life. Please, I ask you, do not abandon everybody else whose lives could be so improved if just given the chance. West Virginia is counting on you and your decision. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Peter J Hopkins

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