CINDY AXNE, IOWAN VOTERS DELIVER LETTERS TO DAVID YOUNG ON THE NEED TO PRESERVE PROTECTIONS FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS
~ On the day oral arguments begin in the Republican federal lawsuit to strike down insurance protections, Axne and Iowans hold Young accountable for his healthcare vote ~
Des Moines, IA – Today, Cindy Axne, Democratic candidate for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District, and Iowans with pre-existing conditions called on Republican Congressman David Young (R-IA-03) to fight against Republican attempts to undo protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. Cindy and the Iowa voters then delivered personalized letters to Young, highlighting their stories and the catastrophic consequences undoing protections for pre-existing conditions would have on their families.
“Republicans in Washington are relentless in their attempts to take away our health coverage. And Congressman David Young, at his best, has remained silent. And at his worst, has voted to strip away coverage from thousands of Iowans,” said Cindy Axne, Democratic candidate for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District. “When Iowans are facing the toughest battles of their lives, they shouldn’t have to battle with their insurance companies. Or, their members of Congress. Iowans deserve a member of Congress who isn’t playing politics with healthcare.”
The event coincided with oral arguments beginning in the landmark federal lawsuit to strike down insurance protections in the North Texas District Court. The lawsuit explicitly aims to undo protections for individuals with pre-existing conditions. The lawsuit alleges that insurance protections are now rendered unconstitutional in light of amendments made by the GOP Tax Bill, which Rep. David Young voted for. Undoing protections on pre-existing conditions would threaten over 350,000 non-elderly individuals in Iowa’s 3rd District alone.
On May 4th, 2017 Congressman David Young went back on his word and voted for the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation that would raise healthcare costs, impose an age tax on older Americans and gut protections for Iowans with pre-existing conditions. And when that bill failed, David Young voted to repeal a key component of the Affordable Care Act through the GOP Tax Scam that will raise premiums by 10 percent and rip health insurance away from 13 million people.
Over a dozen Iowans wrote and delivered letters to David Young. Here are some of their stories:
Jerry, Union County:
“There is no question that people will die without such protection for people with pre-existing conditions. I don’t want my wife to die because of political decisions made in Washington at the behest of special interests. You see, my wife has a pre-existing condition. She is fighting cancer for the third time in the past three years. She beat it twice, but it has come back. Two years ago, she was only able to receive an early diagnosis because of protections through the Affordable Care Act. The ACA is also what allowed her to receive an early diagnosis of diabetes, something which she is managing well thanks to the early diagnosis,” wrote Jerry from Union County. “I’m sure you don’t want my wife to die because of politics. I’m sure you don’t want thousands of other Iowans to die for the same reason. But your voting record on this issue is disturbing.”
Betsy, Des Moines:
“Thirteen years ago – as a healthy 46-year-old Des Moines resident – I was denied continuing health care coverage by our insurer after my husband lost his job and health care benefits. Why? Because I inherited my father’s chronic lower back issues and had to have disc surgery in my 30’s. I was braced for the insurer to not cover my back but was stunned that the insurer would not cover me at all,” wrote Betsy. “Why should I and so many other Americans in the same boat be penalized for health issues, including ones in our genetic makeup, beyond our control?”
Nancy, Des Moines:
“With all the treatments and costs associated with my rheumatoid arthritis, I’m also certain that I would not be able to get insurance coverage at this point in my life if my husband had to change jobs and they weren’t required to cover pre-existing conditions. Our life as we know it would be over. My health condition would determine our freedom, where we could live, and what job he could take. Simply put, I cannot live without these expensive medications. They are more important than my house payment. They keep me alive,” wrote Nancy, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis.
Bill, Des Moines:
“My niece and her husband had insurance through his employer. She developed thyroid cancer, after treatment she was dropped from the insurance because of the condition. Her husband liked his job but quit and started with another company in the hopes that my niece would be covered under the new insurance. She was denied because of pre-existing condition. She could not get coverage until the Affordable Care Act was in place. It was fortunate she was covered as she developed a different cancer that would have gone untreated if pre-existing condition criterion determined her coverage. She is doing very well now as both cancers are no longer detected,” wrote Bill.
Lori, Des Moines:
“Personally, I’m at high risk for breast cancer. My mother is a 6 year survivor. I have three aunts who are survivors. My long term risk of developing cancer, depending on the scale, is anywhere from 60-85% chance of developing breast cancer in my lifetime. I have gone through mammograms, call backs, ultrasounds, and biopsies. And suffered a lot of waiting. And added a few scars. And paid a lot of bills because insurance doesn’t cover everything.
To continue having access to regular screenings and follow up is essential to my health. Cancer is always a shadow looming over me. I refuse to be ruled by that, by an uncertain fear. I know that regular screenings, self care, and living well is the key to keeping me healthy and productive.
I shouldn’t be penalized for something I can’t control or change. I can’t change my risk factors. I can just live well and not be burdened by the weight of worry.”