The Honorable Tammy Baldwin
United States Senator from Wisconsin
Democratic National Convention
Thursday, August 20, 2020
Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Hi, I’m Senator Tammy Baldwin.
When I was nine years old, I got sick. Really sick. I was hospitalized. But since my grandparents were the ones raising me—and our family’s health plan didn’t cover grandkids—they were forced to pay out of pocket for my three-month hospital stay.
I got better. But the insurance companies didn’t. They refused to cover me at any cost—because I was marked “child with a pre-existing condition.”
We all have stories like this. Stories about a time when the system was rigged against us. When we were counted out, left out, pushed out.
Just think of what we’ve heard these past four days. Health care professionals who don’t have the protective gear they need. Young people whose asthma will get worse as our air quality does. Workers who are afraid of losing their jobs.
Each story begs this simple, fundamental question—a question that gets to the heart of the choice in this election: what kind of country do we want to be?
Do we want to be a country where millionaires get to dodge taxes or one where working families get a break?
Do we want to be a country where medical bills bury people in debt or one where health care is affordable for all?
Where tens of thousands of people die from a virus or one where the American dream lives?
Where “We the People” means just certain people or one where “We the People” means all the people?
I think we know the answer to that fundamental question—because most of us want the same things: good schools in our neighborhoods, racial justice, the freedom to love who we want, dignity in our work, and an economy where small businesses and working families thrive.
And over the past months, we’ve added to that list: a nation free from COVID.
That’s why Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are the only answer in this election. Trust me, they are. You see, there’s another part of my story.
The part where I ran for office. The part where I served in Congress. The part where I worked with Joe Biden and Barack Obama to make sure kids—and grandkids, if they’re dependents—can stay on their parents’ health insurance until they are 26.
We got that done. And, yes, it was a big deal.
That’s the America I know. That’s the America I love. And that’s the America we will be with Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in the White House.
A nation that plans. A nation that builds. A nation that builds back. Say it with me there at home, a nation that builds back better.
Here in Wisconsin, our state motto is just one word: “forward.” This November, let’s move forward and never look back.