Mike McCready, the lead guitarist for the Seattle-based rock band Pearl Jam and someone who lives with a preexisting medical condition, has released a video in support of President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
The video is a collaboration between McCready, a founding member of Pearl Jam and filmmaker Jesse Dylan, the son of his more famous father, Bob Dylan and older brother to Jakob Dylan, the leader of the alternative rock band, The Wallflowers. McCready has battled Crohn’s disease for more than 25 years and has been denied medical coverage twice during his lifetime because of his condition. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract of more than 700,000 Americans.
In the video titled “Life is a Pre-existing Condition”, McCready says that Americans who suffer from other medical conditions such as cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, HIV, asthma or arthritis shouldn’t be denied medical coverage from insurance companies. He further offers his own experiences with Crohn’s disease where he might have to run off stage during a live performance to deal with his condition. The Pearl Jam guitarist summarizes the video by urging voters to support only those candidates who have backed the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare.
An estimated 50 million people living in the United States do not have medical coverage and close to 30 million have been uninsured for over a year. Of those millions without medical insurance, many say that they simply cannot afford to have insurance, thereby putting them at risk of financial disaster if an accident were to occur or if a debilitating medical condition were to materialize. And those millions of people who have preexisting condition can be denied medical coverage if Obamacare is repealed as well as those young adults up to the age of 26 that can receive medical insurance from their parent’s health plan. Furthermore, tens of millions of women may also lose affordable preventative care services such as prenatal testing, mammograms and cervical cancer screenings if Obamacare is repealed.
While some political detractors might accuse Mike McCready of jumping into activism a little late in the game, the opposite is true. Due to his decades long struggle with Crohn’s disease, the Pearl Jam guitarist has been very active with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), the nation’s leading non-profit, volunteer-driven organization that helps raises funds towards finding a cure for Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). The CCFA sponsors Team Challenge, which enables participants to train and participate in an endurance event under the guidance of fitness professionals, while raising funds to help find a cure and with multiple chapters across the country. McCready has given a number of benefit concerts for his local chapter in Seattle, in addition to giving special presentations to thousands of Team Challenge participants the night before an endurance event.
His message is clear to Obamacare supporters – help him re-elect President Barack Obama to a second term in the office. If the President loses the election and the Affordable Care Act is repealed, even someone making a comfortable living as a well-known guitarist like Mike McCready, could be denied the medical benefits he deserves. But it’s the millions of others that can’t afford adequate medical coverage that concerns him the most.