(CNN) -- I wept the night the Affordable Care Act passed.
Through my closed office door in the White House, I could hear President Obama and my colleagues cheer as the final tally came in from the House of Representatives that, at long last, would send the ACA to his desk. But I wasn't there. Sensing my emotions welling, I had excused myself from the gathering in the Roosevelt Room as the votes mounted and walked across the hall to be alone and collect my thoughts.
This unexpected burst confused me. I had, after all, been involved in many public battles over the course of my career. So why was I sobbing now?
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Proud as I was, I knew it wasn't because of the prodigious political accomplishment the president had just achieved, some over-the-top elation because my boss had notched a historic victory. It was much more personal: My thoughts were focused on my own experience in the health care system, as the father of a child with a chronic illness.