(MADISON, WI) — Today marks the 10th anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which enshrined into law protections for people with pre-existing conditions and helped bring health care to more than 20 million Americans. In Wisconsin alone, more than 2.4 people have pre-existing conditions and in 2019 over 200,000 Wisconsinites selected a marketplace plan during the open enrollment period.
Despite the positive impact of the law for millions of Wisconsinites and Americans everywhere, Donald Trump continues to try to repeal the law. In doing so he is breaking numerous campaign promises to protect people with pre-existing conditions and expand coverage at a lower cost. Trump, despite his best efforts, failed to repeal the law in December of 2017, and since then has done everything to undermine the law. Currently, his Department of Justice is part of a lawsuit that aims to invalidate the entire ACA.
Wisconsinites have been living in fear since Trump took office as they worry they will lose the coverage they need to stay alive. See below for what Wisconsinites are saying on the 10th anniversary of the passage of the ACA:
Kyleigh Forrester — West Allis: “I’ll be eligible to vote for the first time this year, and I know I will be casting my ballot against Donald Trump because of his relentless assault on protections for people like myself with pre-existing conditions. I was born hypoplastic right syndrome — in short, I was born with half a heart. My dream is to become a pediatric cardiologist so I can help kids like myself, but I believe that is only possible if I continue to have the support of the ACA.”
Sarah Conklin — Appleton: “I am the poster child for pre-existing conditions. In the last 26 years I’ve had 16 surgeries, given birth, have been diagnosed with relapsing/remitting MS, am a five year breast cancer survivor and was treated for PTSD. Without the Affordable Care Act, it is hard to imagine I’d be alive right now, which makes president Trump’s zeal to repeal the law that much worse. He promised he’d protect people like, but it’s clear that was nothing more than an election year ploy — Trump doesn’t care about people like me.”
Tina Hinchley — Cambridge: “My life was nearly over when I had a brain tumor a few years ago. Without the Affordable Care Act, we would have lost our farm, our livelihood, and our future. The ACA allowed me to have the best possible care when my prognosis looked very grim. I am very thankful for the ACA, it truly saved my life. If Trump gets his way, other people with serious illnesses will not get the care they need. I got a second chance, because the ACA was there for me!”
Tina Pohlman — Eau Claire: “Without the Affordable Care Act I don’t think I would be alive today. The fact I can get the care I need without being penalized for having multiple pre-existing conditions allows me to live a fulfilling life, and the fact Trump wants to take all that away for no reason should send a message to every Wisconsinite of where his priorities lie. He is breaking his promise to me and the other 2.4 million Wisconsinites who have a pre-existing condition, and that alone should disqualify him from serving a second term in office.”
Shannon Thielman — Wausau: “The only reason I am able to speak out on the Anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act is because this legislation has kept me alive. I’m a cancer survivor, which means like millions of other Wisconsinites I have a pre-existing condition. I was only able to get the care I needed because insurance companies couldn’t now kick me off my coverage thanks to the ACA. The idea that Donald Trump wants to go back to a time where people like me couldn’t get coverage is obscene. Trump’s broken promises to protect the more than 2.4 million Wisconsinites like me is an affront to everyone who trusted this president to keep his word.”
Chelsey Schaumberg — Seymour: “My daughter was born with a pre-existing condition, and now Donald Trump wants to punish her for that. The Affordable Care Act ensures that I can get my daughter the care she needs now and for the rest of her life, but now that security is under threat as Trump continues to try to have the protections we rely on stripped away for no reason. He promised us he’d have our backs, but as soon as he took his office he changed his tune. We can’t trust him to keep his word and cannot another four years of him in office.”
Nick Gibson — Wausau: “Before the Affordable Care Act, the idea of affording my insulin and the equipment I needed was a daily struggle for me and my mom. Insurance companies discriminated against me for my pre-existing condition and there were often times we had to decide to either pay for my medicine or another bill. 10 years ago The ACA changed all that, but now with Donald Trump as president we’re looking at the very real possibility we’ll go back to that time where life and death decisions were all too real for many of us.”