Samson: Battling Cancer Will Make You Appreciate Bernie Sanders’ Health Care Plan

Last week I was blessed with the opportunity to introduce Bernie Sanders at a rally right here in Anaheim. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I wanted to take the time to make my speech a written endorsement of Bernie Sanders for President.

My name is Jestin Samson and just like Bernie, I am a son of two immigrant parents. I was the first in my family to be born in America. At birth, I was quickly diagnosed with an eye condition called Anaridea and I subsequently developed glaucoma soon. Despite my disability, I was able to graduate from high school and I recently graduated from California State University, Fullerton. Currently, I have been admitted into the graduate program at California State University, Fullerton in political science. My hope is to either teach political philosophy at a major institution of higher learning or run for public office, upholding the progressive values that Bernie has put forth.

My interest of Bernie Sanders came later than most. I didn't know he was running until December of 2015. But, after hearing his name mentioned on The Young Turks, I went to do research on his platform. Before Bernie decided to run, I was already discontented with the political process. I knew that money truly had a corrupting power in politics both Democrats and Republicans were both guilty of being bought off by big money interests. So, I thought that the only way to protest this was to refuse to vote or vote for a third-party.

However, after hearing Bernie speak for the first time, I was immediately hooked that I wanted Bernie to be my next president. The two key items of Bernie's platform that I instantly fell in love with was his suggestion of tuition-free college. As someone who has graduated college and is looking into attending graduate school, I can estimate that I will be over $100,000 in debt by the time I complete my graduate studies. After graduating with my bachelors, I am currently in $25,000 in student loan debt. I strongly believe that anyone who is qualified to attend college, ought to receive college education, despite the economic status of the parents or the student without nearly bankrupting them or saddling high amounts of debt.

However, the second and main reason I continue to fight for Bernie is his suggestion that healthcare is a human right. This, I have seen first-hand why we desperately need universal healthcare. For the past 8 years, my mother has been battling stage-4 breast cancer. Our family has had to spend around $100,000 to pay for co-payments, chemotherapy, and other medications. Because of this, we lost my childhood home due to our inability to pay the bills, in order to help the family, I had to take out credit cards and loans (I am in $20,000 in debt here and we are having to live on credit for the time being), and currently, we are having to resort to receiving subsidized housing assistance. It is this reason why I firmly believe why we need Bernie Sanders more than ever. I hope my story has shown that the status quo is not working, and in some cases, people are hurt by the status quo.

This, among many reasons, is why I have supported and will continue to fight for Bernie Sanders to be our next president. As Americans, we truly need to rethink how we think about politics and instead of an election being a contest between the lesser of two evils, we should flip it on its head and make it a contest of whose vision inspires people to take political action. In sum, Bernie Sanders has not just only talked a good game, unlike his opponents, but has taken action. It's one thing to claim that you support American workers, but it's another to go out and strike with them.