Republicans Hellbent on Repealing Obamacare Are Making Americans Endlessly Relive the Worst Experiences of Their Lives

Every I-would-have-died-if-not-for-Obamacare story is someone digging deep into their psyche to talk about their most vulnerable moments.

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May 4 2017, 9:08pm

Image: Rebekkah Dunlap

There are a limited number of ways to write about what happened. My best friend was born with a genetic disease. At every turn, the American health system failed her. Because of those two facts, she died. She was 25. She was too young.

Watching Katelin die was the worst thing that has ever happened to me in my life. I don't want to keep writing about it. It's traumatic, it's stressful. Unfortunately, she's not around to tell her story, and with House Republicans passing a healthcare bill that every serious expert has said will be a disaster for people like Katelin, I feel like I have no other option but to keep telling it.

Millions of people around America have stories like Katelin's. With their years-long game of will-they-or-won't-they, Republicans have forced us all to repeatedly tell these stories. At town hall meetings, protests, and on calls with Congressional staff, we relive the worst days of our lives as we mercifully beg for basic healthcare.

Every I-would-have-died-if-not-for-Obamacare story is someone digging deep into their psyche to talk about their most vulnerable moments. These stories are told not because they're fun to tell. They're told out of a sense of obligation. They're a plea to our elected officials to please vow not to let us die, so that we can move on with our lives.

Republicans are not carrying out the will of the people. In late March, the approval rating of the AHCA was roughly 17 percent; since then, Republicans have not meaningfully changed the bill.

But I'm not surprised House Republicans were eventually able to pass the American Health Care Act. There are only so many times you can tell the same story before its resonance fades. And there are only so many times any person can muster the strength to talk about subjects that are so painful.

Motherboard is a website about the future, and on this, the long-term future is clear. We do know what kind of future we want. We want a future where people don't die because they can't afford to go to the doctor. The question is how many people will die uninsured or underinsured before we get there?

For now, Republicans continue to hold the nation hostage. AHCA still has to pass the Senate. I don't know if personal stories will stop it, but what else are we supposed to do?