No problem can stop Ady Barkan from fighting for what he believes is right. The 34-year-old was diagnosed with ALS in October 2016 immediately after the birth of his son and has been on a crusade to increase health care since. Barkan, a graduate of Yale Law School, has traveled to a country talking to politicians and listening to thousands of people, and the stories of those people who need more affordable, accessible health care. He received the A Plus Game changer for abandoning his life-threatening illness, declining to leave and deeply changing the conversation during the 2018 intermediate elections.
In these present months, Barkan’s voice has become weak at this point that it is difficult to understand on the phone. Nevertheless, he continues the interview request with the media outlet and now answers questions through email.
“The biggest accomplishment in recent years has been to move the Democratic Party to the left so that its leaders now promote a robust vision for social justice,” Barkan told A Plus in an email. “If and when the Democratic Party is able to take back power, I hope that we can leverage this accomplishment into a set of public policies that make life better for hundreds of millions of people.”
In the past month, November after the Democrats took the House, Receptionist Nancy Pelosi — now the majority leader — took the time to thank Barkan for his work on Twitter.
“As we are all profoundly grateful for you, @AdyBarkan,” she said. “Barkan passion for saving our health care and charting a new path for progressive change was an inspiration throughout the campaign. Barkan labor of love helped us win the House in order to deliver #ForThePeople.”
Barkan had advice for other activists, he didn’t hold back. “To be bold in your demands: join the movement for Medicare for All,” he said. “We’ve had enough tinkering at the margin, and we need to build a rational, fair, and humane healthcare system.”