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Philadelphia Woman, Who Says Health Care Reform Changed Her Life, Invited To White House

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A Philadelphia woman's letter to the President landed her an invitation to the White House last Tuesday and she told him that the Affordable Care Act had changed her life.

Regina Moran fought her first battle with cancer when she was 12-years-old. It took ten surgeries and the removal of her colon and part of her rectum but she beat it. Then, five years ago, at 23, she got thyroid cancer. But on top of the struggle with cancer, there was the $700 monthly premium for insurance that never felt secure.

"Is the insurance gonna refuse the surgery? Approve this medication? You have to call this person and that person, constantly stressing about when am I going to have health insurance or if I was going to lose it. You don't realize you're kind of carrying this big burden."

That was until she signed up for a plan through last year and cut her premium by more than half.

"It's as if I have a second lease on life. When somebody tells you that you're never, ever for the rest of your life going to have to worry about having insurance, it's a huge relief. You can actually focus on the important things and not have to constantly wait for the rug to be pulled out from under you."

Moran says she's now embracing things she put off or couldn't afford, including a wedding.

"For a long time, I was putting off planning a wedding because I felt it wasn't fair to my fiancee to give him that burden, but because of (the Affordable Care Act) I'm able to focus on him and our life together."

Moran says the change has been so overwhelming, she felt moved to email the President, even though she didn't really think he'd ever see it.

"I just wanted to thank the President and everyone else who worked on it. He doesn't get a whole lot of positive response a lot of times so I wanted him to know that he really altered my life."

She'd forgotten about the email until last week, when a White House staffer called to ask if she would come meet the President and Vice-President on Tuesday.

It was a thrill, she says, but she still counts the ACA itself as the third-best thing in her life, after remission and her fiancee.

"Because I'm able to really just enjoy my future."

A trip to the White House for a Philadelphia woman who says health care reform changed her life...


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