Why do Republicans, tea partiers and Libertarians value insurance and pharmaceutical company profits over affordable health care for hard-working, tax-paying citizens?

As a child, I earned money doing chores for neighbors. As a member of two youth organizations, I did numerous public service projects. In college, I coordinated Hunger Awareness Week and organized the cleanup of a vacant city lot. I volunteered three seasons with the National Park Service.

I have paid federal, state, Social Security and Medicare taxes for 41 years, and property taxes for 34 years. I have thousands of hours of “sweat equity” in my unfinished home, have cut and split wood, planted gardens, accepted “hand-me-downs,” shopped second-hand stores, never had cable or satellite television and don’t own a “smart” phone.

I have stayed 30 years at the same job because my work has meaning to me and supports my personal values. My employer has never offered health insurance. Among numerous financial setbacks were my cancer surgeries and my husband’s life-saving emergency surgery. Working two jobs with overtime, selling off inherited antiques and furniture, selling our pine trees and cashing in an inherited I.R.A. has kept us out of bankruptcy. I have shared my gains with those less fortunate.

Thanks to Obamacare, in spite of pre-existing conditions, we now have insurance that fits into our monthly budget. I don’t live in fear of bankruptcy and homelessness due to medical bills.

Am I unworthy of affordable health care?

Joanne D’Unger, Leeds

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