(La Crosse, WI) — (La Crosse, WI) — Today, La Crosse County Board Chair Tara Johnson, founder of the National organization APS Foundation of America and health care advocate Tina Pohlman, who also has pre-existing conditions, and community activist K.C. Cayo, held a press conference highlighting the Trump administration’s broken promises to women.
In 2016, Trump came to Wisconsin, promising “I’m going to be the best for women’s health issues,’ and that ‘nobody will be better for women,” and “nobody will give greater security to our country for women.” The reality is Trump is trying to remove protections for people with pre-existing conditions, which means rolling back the clock to a time when becoming pregnant meant a woman had a pre-existing condition for life. Furthermore, his Department of Justice is leading the charge to strike down the entire Affordable Care Act.
At the event, the speakers said, in part:
Tara Johnson: “Before the Affordable Care Act was enacted, insurers could charge women more simply for being women. Getting pregnant meant you had a pre-existing condition for the rest of the life and could justify an insurance company denying you coverage— something the ACA rightfully rectified. As a mother I know first hand what this is like, as I had my children before protections for people with pre-existing conditions became law. And now Trump, whether it was just merciless fight to fully repeal these protections, undermine the law, or now using his Department of Justice to try to strike down the law in front of the Supreme Court — President Donald Trump has broken his promise to all of us. We deserve a president who won’t try to deceive us for their own political benefit or break his promises when he thinks we aren’t looking.”
Tina Pohlman: “I have pre-existing conditions — Lupus and Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, both of which are autoimmune disorders. To keep these illnesses under control I take over 20 medications, and rely on Social Security to help me afford my life sustaining medicine. Without the coverage I receive, and without the protections for my pre-existing conditions I have thanks to the ACA, my medicine would cost $50,000. And not only does he want to gut Social Security, he wants to take an axe to Medicare and Medicaid. I want to go about my life helping others without having to worry that my livelihood will be threatened by a president who promised to stand up for people like me and has broken that promise time and again. That’s why on November third I will be voting for whoever our nominee is, so that on November 4th I can wake up and breathe easier, without fear, and with a renewed hope in the direction we can take our country.”
K.C. Kayo: “I am a member of the queer community…we are human beings just like everyone else here today, and we deserve to live and breathe freely without worry that we will be the target of discrimination and abuse…His [Donald Trump] Department of Health and Human Services rolled back protections that prevented health insurance companies from discriminating against transgender people based on their identity. He also struck down an Obama-era rule that bans shelters from discriminating based on gender identity. And he has banned transgender troops from serving in our military. We have to ask ourselves — why do they care so much how we identify or who we love? What possible threat do we pose to them or their way of life? It is clear that Trump never intended to keep his promises to us, and was merely paying lip service to the LGBTQ community during an election year. The best thing we can do to combat Trump’s hatred, and to ensure that we have a president who has our backs and doesn’t sell us out, is to organize.”