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Video: Kaine on Senate Floor Highlights Stories from Virginians Who Depend On ACA, Importance of Protecting Critical Care

You can watch the full speech here

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine delivered a speech on the Senate floor on what’s at stake for millions of Americans as the Supreme Court prepares to hear a case that could eliminate the Affordable Care Act. Kaine shared stories from concerned constituents across Virginia – including New Castle, Vienna, Hampton, and Henrico – who have received life-saving care thanks to the ACA, and urged his colleagues to help protect the law so that these Virginians and millions of other Americans don’t lose critical health protections in the middle of a pandemic.

“As bad as this has been, it would have been a lot worse were it not for an Affordable Care Act providing protections for families and individuals … My constituents in Virginia who rely on the Affordable Care Act and are afraid to death for themselves and their family members are petrified. Let me read you some stories from four constituents of the many that I’ve received,” Kaine said.   

Stories From Virginians: 

Michelle from New Castle wrote in about her 9-year-old son, Evan, who was born with a rare disease and has several comorbidities:

“I am new to Virginia. I recently moved from Texas, and am incredibly concerned with the Supreme Court nominee and the protections given in the Affordable Care Act. My son Evan, who is 9 years old, was born with a rare abdominal wall defect called an omphalocele. After many surgeries, and staying in the hospital for the first 8 months fighting for his life, he came home. At the time, he was covered by his father's employer-sponsored health insurance. He was protected under the ACA … Upon my move to Virginia, I was able to obtain Medicaid coverage for not just my son, who had been denied in Texas, but for every household member. It took two weeks. The ACA is protecting my son and his ability to be covered by other insurance is so necessary. I'm asking that you fight.” 

Dawn from Vienna wrote in about her 20-year-old daughter who works a part-time job with no benefits: 

“My daughter is 20 with multiple health conditions and has a part time job with no benefits, but she is able to be on my insurance. I am concerned about the upcoming Supreme Court vote on the ACA. What will happen to young people like my daughter if the ACA is gone?”

Lieutenant Alvia from Hampton is a disabled veteran concerned about access to home and community-based services:

“I am a 100% permanently disabled veteran. Although most of my medical care is provided by the VA, my care is supplemented by Medicare and the services of a Medical Alert Service Dog. The latter two care services are threatened by the abolishment of the Affordable Care Act and challenges to the American Disability Act. The protections for individuals with preexisting conditions, elimination of lifetime benefit caps, expansion of home and community based services options, protections against disability discrimination, and the state Medicaid expansions authorized under the ACA have been instrumental to improved quality of life for people like me with disabilities. With the Supreme Court scheduled to hear arguments to repeal the soon, this puts lives and rights at unacceptable risk.” 

Donna from Henrico wrote in about her husband diagnosed with brain cancer:           

“My husband was diagnosed with a glioblastoma (brain cancer) back in June 2020. The insurance claims have now exceeded one MILLION dollars and will continue to rise with doctors and treatments. Thankfully, we have health insurance through the Marketplace. My husband isn't able to work and my job has no benefits. I fear what it would be like for us if Obamacare is overturned by the Republicans. No private insurance will ever accept us, so we must continue to rely on getting our insurance through the Marketplace. Without it, we would be in dire straits. Please continue to work towards keeping the Republicans from taking away the Affordable Care Act.”

“Here’s what we should be doing instead of forcing an unprecedented rush to a Justice who can be part of destroying the Affordable Care Act: let’s work on COVID, let’s work on the health care crisis,” Kaine continued

As a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, Kaine has been a vocal supporter of protecting Virginians’ health care. In March, Senator Kaine called on President Trump to reverse course on efforts to repeal, sabotage, or undermine health care coverage provided by the Affordable Care Act. In the letter, Kaine criticized the Administration’s efforts to put millions of Americans’ health care at risk during a pandemic. In June, Kaine joined 45 of his Senate colleagues in introducing a resolution officially condemning the Trump Administration’s effort to dismantle the ACA. Earlier this month, he voted in favor of a bill to bar the Trump Administration from arguing for full-scale ACA repeal at the Supreme Court. He has also introduced legislation to create Medicare-X, a public plan that would offer families, individuals, and small businesses additional, low-cost health insurance choices and create more competition in the marketplace.