Democratic National Convention
Tuesday, August 18, 2020
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
ADY BARKAN: Wake up. It’s me: Dad. By the time you’re watching this, you will have grown up to be strong and courageous. But I don’t know how much longer I’ll be around for you.
I was diagnosed with ALS today, which is a deadly, debilitating disease. After I was diagnosed, the President passed that tax bill that put my health care at risk. So I went to Washington, D.C.
ANCHORWOMAN: My next guest made headlines when he confronted a Republican senator on an airplane.
ADY: You can be an American hero. I wanted to help create a better country for you to live in. Democracy is beautiful.
CROWD: Democracy is beautiful.
ADY: All that matters to me is to make you proud because I’m already so proud of you.
COMPUTERIZED VOICE: Hello, America, my name is Ady Barkan and I am speaking to you through this computer voice because I have been paralyzed by a mysterious illness called ALS. Like so many of you, I have experienced the ways our health care system is fundamentally broken: enormous costs, denied claims, dehumanizing treatment when we are most in need.
Since my shocking diagnosis, I have traveled the country, meeting countless patients like me, demanding more of our representatives and our democracy. Today we are witnessing the tragic consequences of our failing health care system. In the midst of a pandemic, nearly 100 million Americans do not have sufficient health insurance. And even good insurance does not cover essential needs like long-term care. Our loved ones are dying in unsafe nursing homes. Our nurses are overwhelmed and unprotected, and our essential workers are treated as dispensable.
We live in the richest country in history and yet we do not guarantee this most basic human right. Everyone living in America should get the health care they need regardless of their employment status or ability to pay.
Even during this terrible crisis, Donald Trump and Republican politicians are trying to take away millions of people’s health insurance. With the existential threat of another four years of this president, we all have a profound obligation to act, not only to vote, but to make sure that our friends, family, and neighbors vote as well.
We must elect Joe Biden. Each of us must be a hero for our communities, for our country, and then, with a compassionate and intelligent president, we must act together and put on his desk a bill that guarantees us all the health care we deserve. Text Vote to 30330 to learn how to vote safely because our lives depend on it.