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PFAW Spotlights Patients, Real People Afraid of Losing Health Care as SCOTUS Hearings Start

WASHINGTON - As the Senate Judiciary Committee begins hearings today, in the push to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, People For the American Way is focusing on the imminent threat to health care, in the middle of an unprecedented health crisis, and what’s at stake for people currently battling COVID-19 and other preexisting conditions.

“Barrett’s confirmation threatens to end affordable health care and to take away health care protections for millions of Americans with preexisting conditions,” said President of People For the American Way Ben Jealous. “Tens of thousands of people are being diagnosed with Covid-19 each day, and the seven million Americans who have survived the disease now have a preexisting condition with long term health impacts. Instead of protecting people who depend on health care and passing a coronavirus relief bill to help struggling Americans, Donald Trump and Senate Republicans are more interested in wielding political power and decimating the Affordable Care Act. They have a reckless disregard for people’s lives, but health care is not a political game of chess. Health care is a right, not a privilege.”

To bring more attention to what’s at stake, People For is sponsoring a truck-mounted, mobile video exhibit featuring testimonials from everyday Americans who fear that Barrett’s confirmation will result in the elimination of the health care law that ensures coverage for preexisting conditions.

The video screen will travel the perimeter of the Capitol, Union Station and the National Mall along 3rd Street, Trump International Hotel and the White House with stops along the way, traffic permitting.  Recorded speakers as well as messages on the vehicle will urge senators not to confirm Barrett.

The video loop features the following speakers:

  • Peter Morley, a two-time cancer survivor and patient advocate.
  • Laura Packard, a stage 4 cancer survivor and founder of Health Care Voices.
  • Laura Leeman, a mother of two living in Texas. She has a 15 year old disabled son who would have hit his lifetime insurance coverage cap by age 4 without the ACA’s changes to lifetime limit caps on coverage.
  • Rachel Wall, was born with a disabling condition and could not get reliable health care before the ACA. She is terrified of losing the care that enables her to work and be active as an athlete.
  • Mina Schultz, a bone cancer survivor. She was on her parent’s insurance at 25 when she was diagnosed.
  • Tracy Trovato, husband had leukemia. Thanks to the ACA’s changes to lifetime caps, he was able to get the treatment he needed.
  • Vivian Leal, a mother of two and lives with Multiple Sclerosis (MS)–a potentially disabling disease of the brain and spinal cord (central nervous system).
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People For the American Way is dedicated to making the promise of America real for every American: Equality. Freedom of speech. Freedom of religion. The right to seek justice in a court of law. The right to cast a vote that counts. The American Way. Our vision is a vibrantly diverse democratic society in which everyone is treated equally under the law, given the freedom and opportunity to pursue their dreams, and encouraged to participate in our nation’s civic and political life. Our America respects diversity, nurtures creativity and combats hatred and bigotry.

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