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Dear Chief Justice Roberts,

I am writing to thank you for your ruling in the Affordable Care Act.  I have been following this debate very closely because my family is afflicted with a genetic condition called Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) and the pre-existing condition protections are very important to us.  The disease takes many forms and I am one of the lucky ones, but many people in my family are not as fortunate.

I believe your vote to uphold the ACA was an act of personal courage and in this hyperpartisan political environment we have, that is a very rare thing.  I also believe that affordable health care for all is a Christian concept, something many people seem to have lost sight of in all this.  I have been praying and wondering how any good Christian could possibly, through the stroke of a pen, make a decision that would doom many people, literally, to death.  

People like my cousin, who at 47, is in end stage kidney disease and waiting for a kidney transplant.  Those who would be most likely to donate a kidney...his family members...are not able to due to the fact that over 50% of us carry the gene for the disease.   While he waits, he is slowly going broke with outrageously high premiums, high deductibles, and out of pocket costs. There are millions like him, with this disease, or other diseases, that will benefit from this law.  Though not perfect, through the pre-existing condition protections alone, it will save lives and for this I am deeply grateful.

I am sure you also prayed about this decision.  What I have found most heartbreaking is the number of people I have encountered over the past few years, who, though they claimed to be "good Christians", have hatred and spite in their hearts over expanding health care coverage to the unfortunate and those with pre-existing conditions.   It has been a depressing chapter in our nation's history.  It has destroyed a few of my relationships, since this is such a personal issue for me.   And so, when I heard of the ruling, I was also relieved that we can finally put this divisive issue to rest.  

But then, I heard Mr. Romney and the republicans vow to repeal the law, to "kill it dead".  A very poor choice of words, don't you agree, considering the circumstances?   And unfortunately, it appears that though you seem to have followed your conscience (again, such a rare thing!) you will now be the recipient of much anger and even hatred from people who used to admire you.  Already you must be feeling the sting of right-wing vitriol.  Believe me, I know, it can be vicious.  But my guess is you knew what was coming. One decision, so many consequences.  

I am under no illusions that we will often agree on the many rulings to come.  But today, I am grateful that the Chief Justice of the United States of America has proven to be a man of conviction, character, and Christian benevolence.   One who believes and defends the Rule of Law.  As a daughter, a cousin, a sister, an aunt, and a niece of a PKD patient, you have my eternal gratitude.   May you and your family find peace with this in both the immediate future and the years to come.   Of one thing I am certain though:  history will judge you kindly.  

Originally posted to Fury on Fri Jun 29, 2012 at 07:33 AM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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