Ten years ago, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law, affirming the core principle from the Obama era presidency that every American should have some basic security when it comes to their healthcare.
Because of the ACA, over 20 million people have acquired health insurance. The ACA is responsible for the establishment of a health insurance marketplace, the dramatic decrease in uninsured rates across almost all demographics, the improved access and quality of care, and the protection of individuals with pre-existing health conditions.
While the country is reeling from over 200,000 COVID-19 deaths and an economic downturn, the Trump administration and several Republican-led states are calling to dismantle the Affordable Care Act and reverse a decade of progress. The consequences of repealing the ACA would be dire. Nearly 20 million Americans would lose coverage, over 100 million Americans with pre-existing health conditions would be left potentially uninsurable, and billions of dollars in federal funding would be lost.
Access to health care is a pressing issue in Tennessee, however, our state government has refused to expand Medicaid — which could provide health insurance for thousands of working-class Tennesseans & help keep our rural hospitals open. Across the state, 430,000 Tennesseans are without health insurance, and even more are underinsured. In my district alone, 60,000 people are living without any form of health care coverage.
The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments on the Affordable Care Act on November 10th – one week after the presidential election. This landmark case, California v. Texas, is a threat to the future of the ACA, and if ruled in favor of the Trump administration, could throw our entire health care system into chaos and be a catastrophic blow to the individuals that rely on the law and its protections.
In Congressional District 2, instead of working to address the healthcare needs of his constituents, my Congressman voted against legislation that protected people with pre-existing conditions and against lowering the cost of prescription drugs, all while taking thousands of dollars from lobbyists in the insurance industry.
East Tennessee deserves better. We deserve a healthcare system that puts people – not profits – at the center of our policies. That’s why, as Congresswoman, I would support:
- Expanding Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veteran’s Health Administration
- Lower the cost of prescription drugs
- Protect people with pre-existing health conditions
We can’t afford another year of being represented by members of Congress who don’t value the lives of their constituents. East Tennessee needs Congress to Act: to preserve the ACA and continue its efforts in lowering the cost of healthcare. When I get to Washington in November, I’ll make sure we do.