Local health care activist to speak at Democratic convention Tuesday

Laura Packard, a cancer survivor and Denver health care advocate, will be the only Coloradan speaking at the Democratic National Convention this year.

“To be on the stage, virtually speaking, is an incredible honor,” she said in an interview Monday. “I would never have guessed 12 years or eight years or four years ago that this would be me.”

The convention in Milwaukee is largely being conducted virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic. For Packard, that meant a large package of video equipment left at her door with instructions for recording her remarks.

Packard’s speech will air sometime in the 7 o’clock Mountain Time hour Tuesday night. She doesn’t know yet how long the remarks will run.

Packard, 44, was diagnosed with stage 4 Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2017, just as Congress was considering bills to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Packard maintains that without the ACA, she would be either dead or bankrupt.

It’s that story she’ll tell Tuesday night. She says the message she wants to leave convention watchers with is simple: “Health care affects everybody.”

“As we can see during this pandemic, whether you have access to health care … directly affects my health care,” she said. “We’re all in this together and we need to elect people like a President Biden who will work on making health care more accessible and more affordable instead of taking it away from people.”

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