I joined hundreds of other people expressing their views on the Affordable Care Act while the Supreme Court considered arguments about its constitutionality inside the building.
Our group was walking around with signs saying “People of Faith for Health Care,” or some even more specific “Catholics for Healthcare Reform.” We sang the typical liberal songs like “We Shall Overcome” and “This Little Light of Mine;” we listened to clergy express support for the law and tell stories of people who are getting life-saving medical treatment because of its provisions.
The most heart-wrenching for me was the story of a lawyer who had her husband and children on her insurance plan. Her cancer came back and she was facing maxing out her lifetime healthcare coverage cap under her plan. She began agonizing over whether to divorce her husband so that he and the children could get coverage under another plan without her barrier of a pre-existing condition.
But on the other side were people carrying banners that proclaimed “Don’t tread on me,” alluding to the pre-Revolutionary slogan for freedom. They were shouting chants to repeal the law. And some were arguing incomprehsnively that the bill somehow would create more abortions.
It was especially exciting being there since the Sisters of Mercy, for whom I work, signed onto an amicus brief with the court in support of the expansion of Medicaid, one of the legal questions in the case.