White House official blogs cancer fight

Michael Robertson, the deputy assistant to the president, wrote on the White House blog about his recovery from stage IV cancer and how access to health insurance saved his life.

Robertson said he learned he had “metastatic colorectal cancer” spreading from his colon to his liver and lungs just two months after proposing to his wife and three months before his 36th birthday.

“Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to have insurance through my employer and my cancer was treatable and curable they said,” Robertson wrote on Wednesday. “Thankfully, because I had insurance, they said, if I gave them the next year for treatment, they’d give me back the rest of my life.”

The Hill reported last month that the White House and congressional leadership are urging Democratic lawmakers to highlight ObamaCare success stories in an effort to take the offensive on the healthcare rollout.

Robertson argued that if he didn’t already have insurance, he likely would’ve been denied coverage in the individual market, or forced to pay “outrageous premiums just for access to the same services that would save my life” because of his pre-existing condition.

He said healthcare reform was one of the reasons he went to work for then-state Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) in 2004 and that his experience was evidence of the value of the Affordable Care Act.

“Access to affordable health insurance should not depend on luck or economic status; it should be available to everyone,” Robertson said. “Surviving catastrophic illness should not be an option for only a few; everyone should have that opportunity.”

“Before Obamacare, millions of Americans who were uninsured or underinsured, gamble was their daily reality,” he added. “Now, for the first time ever, all Americans will have access to quality, affordable health care, and they can’t be denied coverage for preexisting conditions or have their coverage cut off because they’ve hit a lifetime cap on medical expenses.”