I would like to start my letter by saying I am one of the thousands of people who have received free health care from University Medical Center in New Orleans.

About two years ago, I was diagnosed with hepatitis C. I was too sick from the virus to work steadily, especially in the heat, as most of my work was outside.

One year ago, I was given a drug that cured the virus. The treatment I received cost $1,000 a pill, which would total $84,000 for most patients. I was lucky I had to take the medication only for eight weeks. The drug company donated the treatment to me and many others. Without the free clinics at University Medical Center, I would not have had access to this medication.

Now, I am able to go back to work, pay taxes and probably get my own health care.

So before these senators and representatives start closing clinics, they need to know the miracles that happen over there because of the free care.

Thank you, University Medical Center, for saving my life.

Patrick Graff