Trump blocks stage 4 cancer patient on Twitter
Donald Trump has blocked a stage-4 cancer patient on Twitter after she criticised him via the social media platform.
Laura Packard, a small business owner from Las Vegas, Nevada, recently tweeted at the President, telling him to "count your rubles, file your resignation, call it a day".
Responding to a comment on her tweet, she added: "I have stage 4 cancer, and Trump & the Republicans are trying to take away my health insurance."
The next day, she awoke to find Mr Trump had blocked her on Twitter, barring her from reading and responding to tweets from his account.
"Omg. The President of the United States just personally blocked me, " she tweeted, before telling Mr Trump to "grow the f*** up" and "stop tweeting on the can and run our d*** country".
Ms Packard suffers from stage 4 Hodgkin's lymphoma. The disease, while painful, is usually curable with a combination of chemotherapy, radiation, and immunotherapy.
Since she is self-employed, Ms Packard relies on the Affordable Care Act - also known as Obamacare - to help her pay the massive medical bills those treatments entail. But this week, Senate Republicans announced that they would once again try to repeal Obamacare.
According to some estimates, the new bill - called the Graham-Cassidy bill, after its two authors - would leave 30 million more Americans without health insurance. It would also remove federal protections for people with pre-existing conditions, like cancer.
A recent analysis from the Center for American Progress found that a 40-year-old with metastatic cancer could be forced to pay more than $140,000 out of pocket for their treatment - on top of their existing insurance premiums.
This summer, Ms Packard wrote an op-ed for US News & World Report about Republican attempts to repeal the healthcare law.
"Why is this not front-page news every day, and on the evening news every night?" she wondered at the time. "It feels like my friends and I are facing a death sentence and nobody notices or cares."
Omg. The President of the United States just personally blocked me. pic.twitter.com/MgLfwufOXC— Laura Packard (@lpackard) September 20, 2017
In addition to writing op-eds, Ms Packard has tried to draw attention to the issue in true 21st-century fashion: by tweeting at the President.
"Your latest TrumpCare bill would mean 32M Americans will lose their health insurance," she tweeted at Mr Trump the day before she was blocked. "What about putting them first?"
Her motivation, Ms Packard told ThinkProgress, is simple: "I just wish that he would listen."
But on Wednesday morning, hours after blocking Ms Packard, the President tweeted his support for the Graham-Cassidy bill.
"I hope Republican Senators will vote for Graham-Cassidy and fulfill their promise to Repeal & Replace ObamaCare," he wrote. "Money direct to States!"