Washington, D.C. — As the Trump administration continues to try to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in the federal courts, including 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 is telling stories of Americans such as Cheryl Morrison, an after-school teacher from Charlottesville, Virginia, who was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which before the ACA was considered a preexisting condition that could be denied coverage under some insurance policies. Given the administration’s attempts to repeal the law and its protections for preexisting conditions, Morrison says she worries about returning to the time when she was uninsured and unable to receive the treatment that she needed. As she says in the video, repealing the ACA would hurt Americans like her.
“President Trump wants to do away with the Affordable Care Act. That would hurt so many people, and I’m one of them,” she says.
After Morrison legally separated from her husband, she was left uninsured and unable to work a full-time job to seek treatment for PTSD. It wasn’t until former President Barack Obama signed the ACA into law that she was able to afford treatment for her condition.
“I’ve been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and it’s very difficult to work when you’re so sad that that’s all you think about is … why did this happen to me,” she says. “I was so proud the day that President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act and I was able to go on that.”
Last month, after dozens of failed attempts by the Trump administration to repeal or replace the ACA with an alternative health care plan, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit heard oral arguments in the case of Texas v. Azar, a 20-state lawsuit backed by the Trump administration seeking to overturn the entire ACA. Caught in the balance of the court fight are people such as Morrison; 20 million Americans would lose health care coverage and more than 130 million Americans would lose preexisting conditions protections nationwide if these efforts are successful.
The Trump administration’s attacks on the ACA are a stark departure from President Donald Trump’s promise to preserve protections for preexisting conditions—a broken promise that makes Morrison angry.
“You cannot promise something and go back on your promise. I’m very disappointed in that and outraged, actually,” she says. “He’s hurting both Republicans and Democrats. I have family that need it. I have friends that need it. It’s there for us and it should continue to be there for us.”
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