August 27, 2020/Media, Press

ICYMI: Klobuchar, Stein and North Carolina Patients Blast Trump’s Assault on the Affordable Care Act

“Health care is the topic in our house. It is the thing that keeps us going, and it is what’s at stake. My daughters’ lives are what’s at stake if the Affordable Care Act goes away.” 

Raleigh – On the third day of the RNC, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) joined Attorney General Josh Stein, health care activist and parent Stacy Staggs and cancer survivor DonnaMarie Woodson in hammering the Trump administration and its Republican allies for their attempt to undo the Affordable Care Act, which millions of North Carolinians depend on.

Staggs, a mother of two medically complex twins, credited the ACA with saving her family, while Woodson said she would not have been able to afford her cancer treatments without its protections.

Klobuchar praised Vice President Joe Biden’s plan to expand on the ACA through a public option while Stein reiterated his work with other state Attorneys General to stop the Republican-backed lawsuit that would eliminate it.

Highlights from the Call 

Senator Amy Klobuchar: 

  • When Donald Trump says things like, “It is what it is,” about all the people that have died of this disease, I take that personally.
  • Donald Trump has repeatedly scorned science, hasn’t listened to the experts, didn’t heed those early warnings, didn’t get the protective equipment going like we should have right away, still scorns mask-wearing in many ways.
  • And on the other side, you have Joe Biden, who has a plan — who will put people in place that will be able to manage this, who believes in science and who is going to get us through this.
  • [The Affordable Care Act] protects everybody so that you don’t lose your healthcare; so that your kids can stay on their parents plans until they’re 26. It helped our seniors to afford prescription drugs and it’s protected coverage for nearly 5 million North Carolinians who have pre-existing conditions.
  • Roughly 1.8 million seniors in North Carolina have saved about $1,000 annually on prescription drugs through the ACA and about 70,000 young people have been able to remain on the health insurance of their parents.

Attorney General Josh Stein: 

  • [The ACA] makes a difference in the lives of millions of North Carolinians. This lawsuit to eliminate the ACA in its entirety was initiated by Republican Attorneys General … they want to kill the Affordable Care Act.
  • A number of my Democratic colleagues and I are in the United States Supreme Court fighting tooth and nail to defend that law, and I’m hopeful that we will win.
  • Imagine the consequences if the Republican AGs, if Donald Trump, get what they want — they want the 4 million North Carolinians who have pre-existing conditions to have no protections. They want the more than 1 million seniors whose prescription drugs are cheaper to pay more for their medication.
  • We could be strengthening rural hospitals; we could be improving peoples’ health care; we could be saving lives — not to mention the tens of thousands of jobs that would be generated through improved health care delivery in North Carolina.
  • [Joe Biden and Kamala Harris] want people to have health care. They want people to have coverage. They want to help the one million North Carolinians who don’t yet have insurance get that insurance. And you just contrast that to the, frankly, callousness, heartlessness of the other side.

Stacy Staggs: 

  • We came home with Emma to a nursery that looked like a hospital room, and in fact, still does. We came home with in-home nursing support, respiratory support, feeding and enteral support.
  • I’m a mom of twins – I lose sleep about all kinds of things. Health care should not be one of them … but health care is the topic in our house. It is the thing that keeps us going, and it is what’s at stake. My daughters’ lives are what’s at stake if the Affordable Care Act goes away.
  • They reached $1 million in claims before they left the hospital. In the last seven years, we’ve topped $4 million in claims, and premature birth is a pre-existing condition. So any, any, any health issue they have in the future — the insurance companies will tie back to their premature birth and do all they can, which is an awful lot, to not cover them if the ACA goes away.
  • It is not an exaggeration to say that our future hinges on the survival of the Affordable Care Act.
  • [My daughters] have the potential to do all kinds of amazing things in the future if we don’t mess it up now. And that’s why … I am so, so committed to Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, AG Josh Stein, Roy Cooper — everyone up and down the ticket who has been fighting this entire time to maintain, protect and expand the Affordable Care Act.
  • The Republican Party — there’s no other way to say it — cruelty is the point … I’ve spent years on my heels trying to figure out why that would be a position an entire party would take … The only answer I can come up with, particularly in the midst of a global pandemic, is cruelty is the point. And that’s why we cannot let them win.

DonnaMarie Woodson: 

  • [My husband and I] got caught up in the downturn, and my husband lost his upper management job in a large company and our insurance as well … so we lost our health insurance for a few years. I put off doing my mammograms and a colonoscopy.
  • Thank God for the Affordable Care Act, because as soon as that came, we signed up for it because we were eligible, and so immediately I went to schedule my appointments. The first one I scheduled was my colonoscopy.
  • So I went in and went through the procedure. And when I was coming out, the doctor said that he was 99.9% sure that I had colon cancer, and sure enough it was stage 3 colon cancer. And without the Affordable Care Act, that diagnosis wouldn’t have happened.
  • Each chemotherapy treatment for me was $8,000 every time I went. I went for six months every two weeks. That’s why I say it’s a blessing that I’m here — it’s because of the Affordable Care Act.
  • It is unfathomable to me that Trump and the Republicans would be ripping health care away from millions of people when we need it most — we’re in a pandemic.
  • It’s our lives that are on the line … it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that there are a group of people that are taking that position of cruelty.


The full video is available HERE