Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Minnesotans Show How Reps. Paulsen and Lewis Have Put Their Constituents at Risk
Press Release

RELEASE: Minnesotans Show How Reps. Paulsen and Lewis Have Put Their Constituents at Risk

Press Contacts

  • Jesse Lee

Washington, D.C. — Two new videos relay the personal stories of Susan Schwaidelson of Mendota Heights, Minnesota (MN-2), and Amanda Magsam of Bloomington, Minnesota (MN-3), who are both concerned that the votes of their representatives, Jason Lewis (R-MN-2) and Erik Paulsen (R-MN-3), to repeal health care protections, as well as ongoing efforts to do so, put their lives at risk.

Schwaidelson, who is near retirement and was recently diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer during an annual mammogram screening, and Magsam, who suffers from a chronic tissue disorder that caused her brain to fall through her spinal canal, were both able to afford and receive treatment for their pre-existing conditions when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted in Minnesota. Schwaidelson and Magsam both believe that their congressmen are alienating constituents along partisan lines and ignoring those who rely on the ACA.

In her video, Magsam recalls trying to speak with Rep. Paulsen’s office to urge him not to vote to repeal the ACA. “What they told me was that because I was a Democrat, that Erik Paulsen didn’t represent me, and so the only people that he was representing in our district were the people who voted for him,” said Magsam.

As Magsam states in the video, “It’s incredibly corrupt to me that Erik Paulsen and other representatives who are claiming that they represent the everyday person in their district are actually looking out for the best interests of lobbyists and corporations. It’s just not right, and something needs to change.”

Watch Schwaidelson’s video on Twitter.

Watch Schwaidelson’s video on YouTube.

Watch Magsam’s video on Twitter.

Watch Magsam’s video on YouTube.

As Schwaidelson states in her video, “He [Rep. Lewis] represents the people that voted for him. He does not represent the entire district. To me, that’s a problem, I’m part of that district. When he’s marching lockstep with a party that is bent on undercutting the middle and lower classes, who does he think makes up this district? Every time Jason Lewis says to somebody, ‘I’m sorry, I only represent the people that voted for me,’ that’s not a representative democracy.”

The videos are a 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.

Reps. Lewis and Paulsen have long promised to repeal the ACA and voted to do so. As part of the Republican tax bill, they both voted to repeal the individual mandate, which will likely cause premiums to be as much as $549 higher than they otherwise would be for Minnesotans. According to an analysis by the Center for American Progress, nearly 251,400 Minnesotans will lose health care and pre-existing conditions protections if the ACA is repealed in the future.

Unfortunately, this story is familiar to many Minnesotans who believe that Reps. Lewis and Paulsen aren’t serving the interests of their constituents on the other side of the aisle. According to an analysis by CAP, 304,100 people in Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional District and 310,200 people in Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District of working age live with pre-existing conditions. Without the ACA and protections for pre-existing conditions, many like Schwaidelson and Magsam are at constant risk of losing their health care under the continued Republican-led sabotage of the ACA.

For more information on this topic or to talk to an expert, please contact Jesse Lee at jlee.af@americanprogressaction.org or 202.741.6350.

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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.