Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Californian Helena Cardona Shows How Rep. Denham Has Put His Constituents at Risk
Press Release

RELEASE: Californian Helena Cardona Shows How Rep. Denham Has Put His Constituents at Risk

Washington, D.C. — A new video relays the personal testimonial of Helena Cardona, a Newman, California, native who was left paralyzed from the stomach down after a driver crashed into her car near her home. As Cardona explains, Rep. Jeff Denham’s (R-CA) efforts to repeal health care coverage and protections have put her at risk.

Cardona echoes a sentiment familiar to many people living with pre-existing conditions, on Medicaid, and in the health insurance marketplaces who are frustrated by their representatives’ attempts to sabotage their constituents’ health care. As she states in the video, “If I was in front of Congress, I would tell them they need to put themselves or their family in our situations.” She adds that as a person on Medicaid who is working to rejoin the workforce, “I never had to rely on anything. I worked for what I wanted; I worked for what I had. I’m just trying to fight harder and figure out how to do things differently and be independent again.”

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The video is part of an ongoing effort by the Center for American Progress Action Fund to provide a platform for real Americans who are being negatively affected by the GOP’s donor-driven agenda.

Unfortunately, this story is familiar to many Californians. Across California, millions of people depend on Medicaid and the private insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to a CAP analysis, nearly 263,200 people of working-age in California’s 10th district live with pre-existing conditions.

Rep. Denham has long promised to repeal the ACA and voted to do so. As part of the Republican tax bill, he also voted to repeal the individual mandate, which will likely cause premiums to be as much as $983 higher than they otherwise would be for Californians. According to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, nearly 2,582,200 Californians will lose health care and pre-existing condition protections if the ACA is repealed in the future.

For more information on this topic or to talk to an expert, please contact Jesse Lee at [email protected] or 202.741.6350.


The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report.