The past few years of debate surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have extended from the patently ridiculous to the blatantly preposterous.

Misconceptions, misinformation and myths about the nature of the legislation, primarily intended to provide an opportunity for more Americans to obtain health insurance, have been the rule, not the exception. More than obscuring legitimate grievances about the convoluted law, these nearly always conservative attacks have made it difficult for the average American to navigate the already cumbersome health care system. One particular genre of these criticisms have included personal anecdotes of Americans whose lives were ruined by new ACA regulations, often through stripped away or exorbitantly expensive insurance plans; anecdotes that were often highly dubious once placed under further scrutiny.

The story of Luis Lang, a 49-year-old South Carolina uninsured man in dire risk of going blind and who blamed his woes on the ACA, as reported by The Charlotte Observer this Tuesday, seemed destined to follow that same vein. But now it seems that there will be a happy ending after all, thanks mostly to self-defined liberals and progressives who donated money to pay for Lang’s health care.

As reported by Ann Doss Helms, Lang was a self-employed handyman who bristled at the notion of insurance, willingly choosing to pay his own medical bills. Even when the enrollment periods for insurance exchanges under the ACA came along, Lang didn’t flinch. But over the past winter, Lang’s longstanding health issues with diabetes, particularly in his eyes, finally caught up to him. In February, he was forced to visit the emergency room after suffering several mini-strokes, and his savings soon dried up. His eyes continued to worsen, and by the time Helms caught up to him, Lang had bleeding in his eyes and a partially detached retina. Lang’s ophthalmologist told Helms that without treatment, Lang would inevitably become blind.

Worse still, Lang had stopped working as a result of his vision problems, and he missed the last available cutoff period for insurance exchanges in 2015. Lang was in no man’s land: Too young and able bodied (until he actually became blind) to qualify for the financial help provided to the most desperate of individuals but too poor to qualify for any federal subsidy that would help him to buy a private insurance policy. While exploring some Hail Mary options, Lang set up a GoFundMe in April to help cover medical costs, a phenomenon that has depressingly become popular. For readers of Helm’s article, though, it was the avowed Republican Lang’s reaction to his plight that was the most surprising (and viral) part of the story; he and his wife vocally blamed Obamacare for their troubles, his wife coining it the "Not Fair Health Care Act."

The response was swift from many corners, with commentators noting that not only had Lang, an active smoker who had been repeatedly warned about managing his diabetes, failed to take advantage of the enrollment period when he was relatively healthy, it was his Republican representatives in South Carolina who had stonewalled offers of federal money to expand Medicaid coverage for free, another key component of the ACA. It’s coverage that likely would have caught situations like Lang’s before they reached the breaking point. "Lang is left in precisely the situation that would exist if the ACA had never been passed. So he blames Obama," wrote Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo, summarizing the maddening and heartbreaking state of affairs.

But as Helms reported earlier today, it appears that Lang’s infamy has been a blessing in disguise, with his GoFundMe now reaching over $13,000 and counting in donations. Even though it has not yet reached the full $30,000 limit, it is already enough to ensure that Lang’s eyes can be saved. And surprisingly, many of the small donations have come from unabashed liberals and progressives.

These donations have not come without their share of snark, but nor are they empty in compassion. "Gosh, here I am – another liberal. I hope you learn that Obama is not the problem. Our first world country should have universal health care," wrote L Slyder. "Obamacare isn’t perfect, but it’s legitimately trying to help people in your situation," wrote $100 donor Andrew Coburn. "I think it's barbaric to make the availability of medical care based on the size of someone's bank account," wrote self-described evil Canadian socialist Karen Christie, "I hope the generosity of your fellow humans helps you see better, literally and figuratively."

In both the follow-up interview with Helms and on his GoFundMe page, Lang lamented that his story became as politicized as it had but held no shame about thanking those responsible. "Even though you have crucified me in your comments, you spoke with your heart with the donations," Lang wrote, ”As far as the conservative side, I wish they would step up to the plate and do there (sic) part.”

The greater point of Helm’s ongoing series is in highlighting the difficulties that come with attempting to fulfill the guarantee of universal health care amid a clash of conflicting philosophies, and of the consequences of letting people fall through the cracks. And in that sense, Lang’s story is both infuriating and hopeful. Though he still has harsh words for the overall dysfunction of the government, a sentiment many would be hard pressed to disagree with, Lang also claims he walked away from the experience now aware of the Medicaid gap that partially led to his situation, and he accepts responsibility for not having obtained insurance earlier.

Still, it seems unlikely that these political divides will be bridged by the donations of several hundred Good Samaritans, not when approximately 13 percent of the U.S. population is still without insurance. Whether you agree wholeheartedly with the ACA, its implementation has only lowered that rate. Perhaps someday, we won’t ever have to worry about people like Lang becoming part of that population.