Washington, D.C. — As the Trump administration continues to threaten the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and protections for Americans with preexisting conditions, 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 Alicia Held of Tucson, Arizona, a brain cancer survivor who fears that she will no longer be able to afford her medication given President Donald Trump’s hostility toward the ACA. She explains that the attempts to weaken or repeal the ACA and protections for people with preexisting conditions puts her life at risk.
As she says in the video, “I worry about having to make decisions between paying the electric bill and paying for a medication that keeps me alive. If Republicans repeal the Affordable Care Act, I don’t know how I would cover the costs of medications.”
After dozens of failed attempts to repeal or replace the ACA with an alternative health care plan, the Trump administration is now supporting a frivolous partisan lawsuit in 20 states that aims to invalidate protections for preexisting conditions. This is a stark departure from President Trump’s promise to keep protections for preexisting conditions.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has also taken steps to remove information regarding consumer rights, statistics on the ACA’s impact, and enrollment information from HealthCare.gov—leaving consumers vulnerable to junk insurance policies and unaffordable costs.
Ending protections for people with preexisting conditions would have devastating impacts for Alicia and 2,763,200 Arizonans—as well as more than 133 million Americans across the country who are unable to afford the treatment that they need. Held says that she was only able to receive her lifesaving surgery after her parents were left with no choice but to empty out their retirement funds to shoulder the cost. After her surgery, Held was able to be covered under Medicare but worries that the continued Republican-led sabotage of the ACA makes coverage for her unsustainable.
“I definitely worry about if we lose the protections of the ACA. When we have a health care system that’s motivated by profit, patients suffer,” she says.
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