|Born||1976 (age 42–43)|
|Education||University of Michigan (BS, 1997)|
|Occupation||Activist, digital consultant|
|Known for||Health care activism|
Laura Packard is an American progressive political activist, small business owner and digital consultant, and former Democratic campaign staffer. She is a co-chair of Health Care Voter, a national organization focused on "holding elected officials accountable for their votes on health care," and founder of Voices of Health Care, a non-profit organizing adults with serious medical conditions.
Born in California and raised around the world, Packard graduated from Plymouth-Canton High School (Plymouth-Canton Educational Park) and earned her B.S. in computer science from the University of Michigan.
Packard was one of the first digital campaigners on a U.S. Senate campaign, serving as Internet communications director for Debbie Stabenow in 2006. She then served as Internet Director for the Coalition for Progress in 2007, and then interim executive director of the New Organizing Institute in 2008. In 2009, she went to Arkansas on behalf of the AFL-CIO to help build support for the Affordable Care Act. In 2010, she was New Media Director for the Bill Halter for Senate primary campaign in 2010, which raised over $3.5 million online in 3.5 months. She then served as the director of the Secretary of State Project national 527 in the remainder of the 2010 election cycle, before moving on to consulting.
Packard was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (Hodgkin's lymphoma) in April 2017, now in remission. She fought against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act while undergoing cancer treatment. She created videos with NowThis News, spoke at press conferences, and wrote opinion editorials calling attention to U.S. Senator Dean Heller's record and votes on health care.
In September 2017, Packard's story drew attention when she was blocked by President Donald Trump on Twitter. She appeared on MSNBC to talk about the incident. She was unblocked by President Trump on Twitter in August 2018, along with 40 other individuals.
In December 2017, Packard drew attention again when she was removed from a public forum with former Senator Dean Heller. After the moderator of the LIBRE Initiative read Heller a question about the Republican tax cut plan that was written by Packard, she got up and said, "That's my question, and I also have stage 4 cancer. Obamacare is keeping me alive. Why do you not care about the lives of thousands of Nevadans and millions of Americans? Why are you voting for me to lose my health coverage? Without it I will die." Security guards then escorted her out.
In the fall of 2018, Packard went on a 24-state national health care bus tour with Protect Our Care. After appearing in a television ad for Jacky Rosen, she was one of several health care activists who were attacked by their (former) representatives in the 2018 campaign.
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- "Chelsea Clinton Scolds Trump for Blocking Cancer Patient on Twitter: 'I Didn't Block Him' After Hillary Golf Ball Tweet". People. September 20, 2017.
- "Exclusive: Cancer Patient who Trump blocked on Twitter speaks out". MSNBC. September 25, 2017.
- "President Trump forced to unblock dozens of Twitter users after court ruling". Mashable. August 29, 2018.
- "GOP Sen. Dean Heller Removes Stage 4 Cancer Patient from Public Forum". Splinter. December 3, 2017.
- "Woman with stage 4 cancer thrown out of town hall after asking GOP senator about health care". ThinkProgress. December 5, 2017.
- "Health-Care Voters Are Coming—and When Politicians Ignore Us, We'll Vote Them Out". Rewire. November 1, 2018.
- "GOP Candidates Are Hearing It From Constituents With Pre-Existing Conditions". Roll Call. November 2, 2018.