Press Releases

Delawareans highlight what’s at stake if ACA is eliminated in latest lawsuit, including protections for those living with pre-existing conditions 

 

DOVER, Del. – Today, at Westside Family Healthcare, U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.) joined doctors, patients and Delaware health care leaders to highlight the Trump Administration’s continued efforts to attack Americans’ access to quality, affordable health care and eliminate the Affordable Care Act. In early July, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments in the Texas v. United States case – a lawsuit brought by 18 Republican Attorneys General and Governors to eliminate the Affordable Care Act in its entirety. The Trump Administration’s Department of Justice filed a brief in support of overturning the landmark health care law in full, which would include eliminating protections for 133 million Americans living with pre-existing conditions, including over half of all Delawareans.

Senator Carper was joined by Westside Family Healthcare officials, including Chris Fraser, Deputy Chief Operating Officer; Dr. Tom Stephens, Chief Medical Officer; and Dr. Thomas Sweeney, Board of Directors Chair. Senator Carper was also joined by Trinidad Navarro, Delaware’s Insurance Commissioner and Molly Magarik, Deputy Secretary of Delaware’s Department of Health and Human Services.

Senator Carper highlighted what’s at stake in the Texas v. United States case that threatens access to health care and coverage for millions of Americans, which includes health care coverage for 400,000 Delawareans living with pre-existing conditions. If the court invalidates the Affordable Care Act:

  • Insurers could legally cancel or deny health care coverage to seniors and young people with pre-existing conditions;
  • Federal funding for Medicaid expansion would end for 17 million people;
  • Nearly 12 million seniors – including thousands of Delaware seniors – would have to pay more for prescription drugs because the Medicare ‘donut hole’ will be reopened; 
  • 2.3 million young adults will no longer be able to stay on their parents’ insurance;
  • 9 million patients would lose financial assistance to help them purchase health care in the marketplace;
  • And, as a result, the uninsured rate could increase by 65 percent.

Senator Carper was also joined by Delawareans who shared their personal stories about living with pre-existing conditions. Stephanie Seeman told the story of her daughter, Jenna, who has pre-existing health conditions and recently aged off of her parents plan. Stephanie was scared and wondered how she would be able to afford insurance for Jenna. A friend at the insurance commissioner’s office recommended she contact Westside for assistance. With the help of Dover Enrollment Specialist Judith Stapleton, Stephanie was able to enroll her daughter Jenna in a Marketplace plan and was surprised to learn how affordable the plan is.

Marie Gilles is a widow living with a pre-existing condition. When she lost her health insurance, Marie was able to enroll in a plan through the ACA Marketplace with the help of enrollment specialists at Westside. Marie stressed that she does not know what she would do if she lost her current health care.

Finally, the story of Mike Hines was also shared. For many years, Mike had no health insurance and he simply “hoped and prayed that nothing happened” to him. However, thanks to the ACA Marketplace, Mike has been able to find affordable health insurance that suits his needs on a regular basis. Of the ACA plan, Mike said: “[it] has been a true blessing in my life.”

“Next week, the Fifth Circuit of Appeals will hear arguments in the Texas v. United States case, a lawsuit brought by 18 Republican Attorneys General and Governors to completely eliminate the Affordable Care Act,” said Senator Carper. “If this lawsuit is successful, the entire health care law would be invalidated. That means protections for 400,000 Delawareans with pre-existing conditions and nearly 133 million Americans. It means young people under the age of 26 would be kicked off their parents’ health insurance plans. It means no more funding for Medicaid expansion that has allowed millions of Americans to access health care for the first time. It means elimination of financial assistance that helps millions of families afford their coverage. And it means higher Medicare costs for seniors. Today, I’m here at Westside Family Healthcare with Delaware doctors, including Dr. Stephens and Dr. Sweeney, who are on the front lines with patients every day, some of our state’s health care leaders, and brave patients who are living with pre-existing conditions to tell the Trump Administration that enough is enough. The American people have made it clear time and time again that we will not stand for these attacks on the life-saving care on which millions depend. Together, we’re going to keep fighting these attacks. We cannot move backward and allow this Administration to rip health care away from millions of Americans. I often say, find out what works and do more of that -- and the Affordable Care Act is working. We can improve, expand and build on the successes, but taking away affordable, quality care from millions of Americans is simply not an option.”

“Since 2010, the Affordable Care Act has helped cut the uninsured rate almost in half in our state -- thanks in part to the expansion of Medicaid and the creation of the Health Insurance Marketplace,” said Molly Magarik, Deputy Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. “Now is the time to build on the success of the ACA – to make it stronger and more affordable for more people.”

 

Check out Sen. Carper’s Twitter and Facebook pages for more highlights and photos of the event. For additional photos, please contact Senator Carper’s office at alyssa_villanueva@carper.senate.gov.