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January 7, 2017

Dear Senator Kaine,


As a Senator, you have been charged with an immense task. Your constituents rely on
you to work on our behalf to uphold and protect the freedoms we enjoy as Virginians
and Americans. We also rely on you to safeguard the legislation that exists to keep our
family, and so many of our friends and neighbors, healthy and safe.
I thank you, with every fiber of my being, for working diligently to protect the Affordable
Care Act.
When I graduated from The University of Virginia, I was fortunate to enter a career
through which I received excellent benefits. I taught second grade and kindergarten in
both Chesterfield and Albemarle Counties. My health insurance was comprehensive
and affordable. I didnt know how good I had it.
After years in the classroom, I put my career on hold while I stayed at home with our
children. We were so lucky to have been in a position to be able to make that choice. I
know that being able to rely on a single income is not a reality for many Virginians. We
enrolled in a private health insurance plan through my husbands company, a small
business based out of Richmond, Virginia.
Our new plan came at a higher cost than my excellent public-school teachers
insurance, but it was comprehensive and allowed my husband and me, and especially
our children, access to outstanding health care. Just this past year, my husband, who
was by then a part-owner in the company, left his position to open his own Financial
Advisory firm. It was a move that was made easier because we had option of enrolling
in a health insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act, which we did in July of 2016.
In addition to well-checkups, sick visits, prescriptions for antibiotics, and vaccinations,
we rely on our health insurance made affordable through Obamacare to, quite literally,
save our childrens lives.
Our oldest son is medically complex. He was diagnosed with multiple and severe food
allergies when he was just 10 months old. Though he was initially highly reactive to over
13 foods, with the help of a vigilant pediatric allergist, multiple blood draws, tens of skin
prick tests, and four in-office, hours-long oral food challenges, my son can now safely
eat all foods except for nuts, peanuts, milk, and shellfish. Still, we pay a premium for
life-saving prescriptions that we hope hell never need: Epi-pens. He needs one at
school and one that travels with him from home to extracurricular activities. Even after
insurance, we pay nearly $1,000 each year for these prescriptions.
In addition to his pediatrician and allergist, we have been to a psychologist for his
anxiety and a cardiologist for a detected heart murmur. More recently, after his
pediatrician became concerned about his stagnation on his growth chart, my nine-year

old has been subjected to more blood draws, weight checks, countless hemoglobin
level checks, and a consultation with a gastroenterologist. Next week he will undergo an
endoscopy and a colonoscopy to, hopefully, diagnose a treatable condition that, once
known and treated, will enable him to get back up on that weight chart and thriving.
Because of our health insurance, we have the peace of mind of being able to afford
these doctors visits, lab work, and medical procedures for our son. Our medical
insurance through the Affordable Care Act allows us access to the best medical care
and professionals in our area.
Please do what is right for our family. Please do what is right for your constituents.
Please do what is right for our country. Please save the Affordable Care Act.
Thank you for taking the time to read one little piece of our familys story.
Sarah Harris