(WISCONSIN) — Last night at the vice presidential debate, Kamala Harris made it clear to Wisconsinites that a Biden-Harris administration will protect protections for pre-existing conditions. Right now, Trump and his administration are working to strip protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which could threaten over 2.4 million people in the Badger state. Mike Pence continued to lie and distract from Trump’s attacks on our health care system and failed COVID-19 response, and refused to address any sort of plan that would protect Americans with pre-existing conditions. Read below to understand how Wisconsinite Sarah Conklin doesn’t see this election as a partisan issue, but a life and death decision because of her pre-existing conditions.

The Cap Times: Sarah Conklin: Vote for candidates who will protect our health care

  • As a resident of Outagamie County and someone who has multiple preexisting conditions, it’s terrifying to see the number of COVID-19 cases spiking as hospitals nearing maximum capacity.
  • Over the last 25 years, I’ve given birth, had 16 surgeries, been diagnosed with relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis and survived breast cancer — needless to say, I’m a “high-risk” Wisconsinite when it comes to the coronavirus.As hospitals run out of beds, I have to wonder what happens if someone like me gets sick? Where will I go if I need the emergency room, but even going to the hospital is a risk in itself?
  • This is the reality Wisconsinites across the state are facing — especially those with preexisting or underlying conditions that make them more susceptible to this deadly virus. What makes accepting this worse is we know it didn’t have to be this way. The reason we’re headed in the wrong direction now is for the simple reason that the elected Republicans will not take this pandemic seriously. Just last week, the president was headed here to hold a rally that didn’t mandate mask usage or social distancing, despite Green Bay seeing its COVID-19 cases going through the roof. So really, it’s no surprise that other elected Republicans across the state are following Trump’s lead as they try to repeal the mask mandate and hold events where social distancing and masks are just a punchline for their candidates. Sen. Ron Johnson went so far as to attend an event after he knew he had been exposed to COVID-19.
  • Meanwhile, Trump still hasn’t announced his health care plan, even as he relentlessly attacks the Affordable Care Act in court. After his failure to respond to COVID-19 when it could have made a difference, more than 1,300 Wisconsinites have died and our state’s economy is in turmoil. It seems the only way to fully defeat the coronavirus and reclaim our lives is by voting out every Republican at every level of office, including the administration in the White House. It doesn’t matter if they represent us in Washington or Wisconsin — they have all pretended that this virus is nothing to worry about even though nearly 210,000 Americans have died from COVID-19.
  • Your political leaning doesn’t matter when our lives literally hang in the balance this November. For the sake of people like me with preexisting conditions, for your family, for your community, and for your country, please vote for the candidates who take this crisis seriously and are doing everything possible to keep us safe. Health care is on the ballot this November, and that’s why it’s critical we elect Democrats up and down the ticket.
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