At a town hall meeting last week, Jeff Jeans, a Republican small business owner who had worked on the campaigns of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, shared his personal story with Speaker Paul Ryan. Jeans had opposed the Affordable Care Act, now commonly called "Obamacare," until he was diagnosed with cancer and given six weeks to live.
Jeans said he learned he had throat cancer shortly after he lost his health benefits when the company he worked for went bankrupt. He told the speaker, "I rely on the Affordable Care Act to be able to purchase my own insurance." When the speaker began to reply, Jeans interrupted him and added, "I want to thank President Obama from the bottom of my heart, because I'd be dead if it weren't for him."
As we look back on President Barack Obama's health care legacy, three intriguing aspects of this dialogue stand out.
First, eight years later, Obamacare is still headline news. Many important issues were discussed during the town hall meeting, but Jeans's compelling story was the one that received the greatest attention.
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