(WISCONSIN) — Ahead of Mike Pence’s visit to Wisconsin, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Lincoln County Democratic Party Vice-Chair Vik Verma — who relies on the ACA, and candidate for the 34th Assembly District and brewery owner Kirk Bangstad held a video press conference slamming the Trump administration for their constant attacks on the Affordable Care Act and handling of the pandemic, which has lead to the collapse of businesses across the state. The Trump administration has constantly put the interests of insurance companies and huge corporations over the needs of Wisconsinites with pre-existing conditions and small businesses.
Watch the full event here or see excerpts of what the speakers said below:
Sen. Tammy Baldwin: “Mike Pence’s visit to Wisconsin really just serves as another reminder of this administration’s failed leadership during this pandemic. As cases have skyrocketed, and I mean really skyrocketed, across the state… Trump has been actively sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and he has failed to offer any coherent response to this pandemic. As of yesterday, over 200,000 Wisconsinites have been infected with COVID-19, and on top of the suffering that they are experiencing right now, we know that COVID-19 may also be considered a pre-existing health condition in the future. In the middle of this public health nightmare, the Trump administration’s number one priority has been overturning the Affordable Care Act. It’s an act that protects 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have pre-existing health conditions. Republicans have ignored or delayed every piece of legislation that we put forward to provide relief for families and businesses across Wisconsin, yet they used their time instead to force through a Supreme Court Justice that Trump has made clear will help him completely overturn the Affordable Care Act, terminate peoples’ health care, as he puts it, and take away protections for people who have pre-existing health conditions. That’s exactly what’s at stake during this election. Trump and Pence have no plans to address the virus that is ravaging our state, no plan to help us rebuild our economy, and are actively trying to take away the health care coverage that Wisconsinites depend on… We can’t afford four more years of Trump, and we have the power to turn out record numbers of voters and to demand a brighter future for America by voting for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.”
Kirk Bangstad: “I own a brewpub in Minocqua, Wisconsin, and I honestly believe with all of my heart, that Trump and his acolytes in the Republican lead legislature in Wisconsin, have almost killed my business and are killing small businesses across the state of Wisconsin… We can’t get back on our feet, restaurants can’t get back on our feet, bars can’t get back on our feet until we contain this virus, and Trump could have done something in February of this last year to come up with a plan… We’re having to close not because Evers is limiting us to 25% capacity, but because we haven’t contained this virus like every other industrialized nation in the world… I blame Trump for putting me and so many other small businesses on our backs. That is why I’ve hung potentially the biggest Biden sign in Wisconsin on the side of my building… With Biden as my president, I can believe that my business will come back. With Trump as my President, I can assure you that I am dead in the water… All Wisconsinites, if you want to see brewpubs again, if you want to see restaurants again, if you want to see bars again, vote for Joe Biden.”
Vik Verma: “Needless to say, during one of the worst moments of my life, the ACA was there for me. The Affordable Care Act is not a hypothetical for me. The ACA helped me afford the treatment that I needed and gave me peace of mind. I am eternally grateful to have this insurance. For many, the ACA has literally been the difference between life and death — it was for me. Across the country, 29.8 million people would lose their health insurance if the Affordable Care Act was repealed… Today, Mike Pence is in Wisconsin to campaign, as Wisconsinites passed 200,000 COVID-19 cases statewide. His visit is just another reminder that Trump and his Administration are putting politics before people’s lives. I have lived with fear under Trump’s presidency because of his relentless pursuit to repeal the ACA. If he gets his way I will lose my health insurance… Wisconsinites are tired of being scared. We know that we must elect leaders who will defend our health care and make our safety a priority. That is why we have to elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to the White House and Democrats to the Wisconsin State Legislature on November 3rd. In 6 days, Wisconsin will hold Donald Trump and Mike Pence accountable. We will vote for compassion, empathy, and affordable access to health care.”