MADISON, WI and CLEVELAND, OH – Today, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) met virtually with Wisconsinites and Ohioans who have a pre-existing health condition, or who are the parent of a child with a pre-existing condition and are at risk of losing access to health care coverage for them or their family if the Affordable Care Act is overturned.
On November 10, 2020, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a lawsuit supported by President Trump to overturn the Affordable Care Act completely, including guaranteed protections for 135 million Americans with pre-existing health conditions. If confirmed by the Senate, Trump’s nominee, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, could participate in the court’s decision.
“Right now, President Trump and Senate Republicans should be working on passing bipartisan COVID-19 response legislation that brings relief to American families and stops the spread of this pandemic that has taken 210,000 lives. Instead, Senate Republicans are focused on rushing a Supreme Court nomination forward to do what President Trump wants - terminate the Affordable Care Act,” said Senator Baldwin. “These stories of Americans with a pre-existing health condition or who are the parents of a child with a pre-existing condition, make it so clear that people do not want the Senate to rush a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court so that President Trump can take health care away from millions of Americans during a deadly pandemic.”
“Most people at some point in their lives will have a pre-existing condition – whether it’s asthma, high blood pressure, cancer, depression, or even being a COVID-19 survivor,” Senator Brown said. “Without the Affordable Care Act, we immediately go back to the days when insurance companies were free to charge you rates you could never afford, or deny you coverage all together. That’s what’s at stake with this Supreme Court seat and Republicans’ effort to repeal the ACA.”
Amy Tasson from Neenah, WI has a history of pulmonary embolisms and must take blood thinners, and is worried about losing her health insurance without the ACA. She also has a daughter under the age of 26 who is in college and currently covered under Amy’s policy, but without the ACA she’s worried her daughter could also lose access to care. Listen to Amy’s story at 8:20 in the video.
Christine Callahan from Hudson, OH and her husband Larry are parents to seven year old Claire and 13 year old Andrew, who has an undiagnosed genetic condition which causes him to be hypotonic and have seizures. He is not mobile or verbal and is tube fed. Christine and her husband own a retail flooring store and she is concerned that because of the attacks on the ACA, Andrew will become uninsurable and they will be faced with making the choice between his care and the family’s financial survival. Listen to the Callahan family’s story at 13:00 in the video.
Reverend Dana Kelley from Milwaukee, WI was diagnosed at 11 months old with Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) and has also had asthma for her entire life. In 2019, she was diagnosed with a massive bilateral pulmonary embolism that caused major damage to her heart and lungs. On May 7, 2020 she tested positive for COVID-19 and fears that if the ACA is overturned, she will face higher health care costs because of her pre-existing conditions. Listen to Dana’s story at 15:25 in the video.
Colleen Bowman from Waynesville, OH and her husband have two children. Their son, Jude, was born with a neurological condition and their daughter, Ella, is a 16 year-old cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with melanoma in 2011 when she was seven. She had five surgeries to remove the cancer and five years of scans to make sure it didn’t spread. Ella says she worries all the time about getting cancer again because she’s afraid if the cancer comes back and the ACA is no longer in place that she would bankrupt her family. Listen to the Bowman family’s story at 20:57 in the video.
Ben Wilson from Viroqua, WI has been HIV positive for over 12 years and credits the passage and sustainment of the ACA with keeping him alive. He is healthy and says he will be able to live a long life as long as he has access to the medicine and medical care that he needs. He knows what it’s like to be denied coverage for a pre-existing condition, and is fighting to keep the ACA for himself and for others like him who depend on it for their health care. Listen to Ben’s story at 24:35 in the video.
Dena Doolin from Fairborn, OH and her husband are both cancer survivors. Dena is a three-time cancer survivor and she has experienced losing her health care due to a pre-existing condition before, so she is afraid of it happening again if the ACA is repealed. She says the security of having insurance when the ACA went into effect allowed her to sleep at night and focus on getting better. Listen to Dena’s story at 27:00 in the video.
The full video of the roundtable is available for download here.