Washington, D.C. — As the Trump administration continues to threaten the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the federal courts and to propose deep cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is releasing a new video in a social media campaign to educate Americans on what’s at stake. The campaign will tell the stories of Americans such as Erin Gabriel from Beaver County, Pennsylvania, whose youngest daughter, Abby, is deaf and blind and has multiple medical disabilities. Without Medicaid, Gabriel wouldn’t be able to afford her daughters medical expenses, including her $25,000 hearing aid. As Gabriel explains in the video, the administration’s attempts to repeal the ACA, along with Trump’s failure to keep his central promise of not cutting Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security “like every other Republican,” have put her daughter’s life at risk.
“President Trump said repeatedly that, when he got elected, he would not cut Medicaid, Medicare, [and] Social Security,” she says. “He made a promise. He promised families like mine that we would be OK. And he’s been breaking that promise ever since he got elected.”
More than 20 million Americans have obtained health coverage as a result of the ACA, and approximately 135 million receive protections for preexisting conditions through the law. Yet despite the law’s many benefits, the Trump administration has focused on undoing it—either through congressional action or by toppling the law in the courts. Trump promised to come up with a replacement plan if the ACA were repealed or overturned but has failed to do so. In July, after dozens of failed attempts by the Trump administration to repeal the ACA, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit heard oral arguments in the case of Texas v. Azar, a 20-state lawsuit seeking to overturn the entire ACA that is backed by the Trump administration. Caught in the balance of the court fight are people such as Abby and millions of other Americans who would lose health care coverage, as well as the millions who would lose preexisting conditions protections nationwide if Trump’s efforts were successful.
According to Gabriel, her daughter’s condition has improved. She is now able to walk short distances and communicate with her friends—all because she was able to receive coverage under Medicaid. But over the next 10 years, President Trump’s budget proposal would cut $1.5 trillion from Medicaid, $25 billion from Social Security, and $845 billion from Medicare. Gabriel says that if the Trump administration’s efforts are successful, that could all be undone.
“Anyone who has known her for a while will tell you how much progress she has made and how she continues to defy any odds that any doctor sets in front of her,” she says. “I mean, more than anything else, is she’s happy. And that’s all because she’s had access to Medicaid.”
Gabriel says that for everyday Americans like her Pennsylvania family, the Trump administration’s track record on enacting policies on kitchen-table issues such as health care has missed the mark.
“[I] find that our president has been a disappointment in terms of getting things done that would help regular people—families like mine, families of farmers, families of kids with disabilities, families of working-class Americans,” she says. “He just doesn’t seem to have a grasp on what would help us, or if he does, he just can’t seem to get it done.”
For more information on this topic or to speak with an expert, please contact Freedom Alexander Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-796-9712.