“Over these past four years, I have watched in fear as the Republicans tried every which way to destroy the Affordable Care Act… Even now, in the middle of this pandemic, [Trump] is scheming to take health care away from people.” 

(WISCONSIN) — OB/GYN and Candidate for Wisconsin’s 88th State Assembly District Kristen Lyerly, and Lisa Lind and Jennifer Neary, two Wisconsinites whose families depend on protections for pre-existing conditions, told their stories and what it would mean if Trump gets his way in repealing the ACA. Access to quality and affordable health care is at the top of Wisconsinites’ minds as the election approaches and Trump has ruthlessly undermined the health care system and put 2.4 million Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions at risk. The cruelty and chaos of Trump is more apparent than ever as he tries to strip away these protections in the middle of a pandemic.

Watch the full event here or read excerpts of what the speakers said below.

Dr. Kristen Lyerly: “Thanks to the ACA, pregnancy is no longer a pre-existing condition, because prior to the ACA, pregnant women could be charged crazy prices for insurance coverage which they desperately needed… thanks to President Obama and Vice-President Biden… that all changed with the passage of the affordable care act. For some reason I can’t even begin to understand, President Trump continues to try to roll back the clock and make it so once again getting pregnant, or any sort of pre-existing condition– any preexisting condition, no longer would have to be covered by insurance companies. For many of the pregnant women I work with — they’d no longer be able to afford coverage and simply having a baby could bankrupt them. Help me understand how this can be the case in the United States of America?… And tonight, we’re likely to hear President Trump lie again, like he’s lied so many times, about how he will protect my patients, but I know, many of us do, that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether it’s pregnant women or people just trying to get through COVID-19, we deserve to have a president who will protect those with pre-existing conditions; someone who will stick to their word and actually defend Wisconsinites. That’s what my patients deserve, it’s what the people of the 88th district deserve, and it’s what we all deserve as a country.”

Jennifer Neary: “My family has watched in horror as Trump and the Republicans have tried to take away my son’s protections under the Affordable Care Act. In August of 2016 my son who was 17 years old at the time was diagnosed… with cancer. He endured six brutal rounds of in-patient chemotherapy… Fortunately because of the Affordable Care Act, there were a lot of important things I did not have to worry about. I didn’t have to worry that our family would get kicked off our insurance because we were too expensive. I didn’t have to wonder what our copays would end up being. Of course, I didn’t have to worry that my son, if he were to survive, would be discriminated against by insurance companies because he was unlucky enough to get cancer at 17. I didn’t have to worry about any of these things that families like mine DID have to worry about before ACA was passed. Because of the Affordable Care Act, I could concentrate on taking care of my very sick child… Over these past four years, I have watched in fear as the Republicans tried every which way to destroy the Affordable Care Act… Even now, in the middle of this pandemic, he’s scheming to take health care away from people. He wants to go back to the bad old days when insurance companies maximized their profits by taking advantage of families like mine. My son is cured. He is a sophomore in college now. He is a voter, he’s a survivor, and we just have to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris this fall so that millions of families like mine can keep the protections they rely on.”

Lisa Lind: “Bill’s cancer treatment ended up being so expensive that we ended up losing our home, we let it go to foreclosure because we couldn’t afford it, and we started using up retirement money. I wasn’t able to work because he needed care. On January 1, 2014 we thankfully were both able to get the Affordable Care Act… He ended up getting three good years out of that treatment instead of the nine months that they had originally said… I am so thankful that we were able to get that coverage… Maybe if we would have had insurance in the four and a half years before, he could have had the screenings… but it was just something that we couldn’t afford. Bill ended up losing his fight on September 10, 2015. He was only 56 years old. I made him a promise that I would fight for everyone elses right to health care… I never want anyone to hear the  words to their loved one, “You have cancer”, and then know that you don’t have insurance because you have the pre-existing condition… We can’t deal with another four years of Donald Trump. We need protections for people like myself with pre-existing conditions, and that is on the ballot… I know that Vice President Biden knows the cost of cancer treatment and he knows how hard it is to watch your loved ones fight and ultimately pass… Health care is a right and I know that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will fight for people like me.”

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