Granite Staters Speak Out: How Senate Republicans’ Trumpcare Bill Would Hurt Them
Last week, after Senate Republicans released their disastrous version of Trumpcare, Senator Shaheen and I held an emergency field hearing in Concord, NH, to hear from our constituents about how Trumpcare would impact them.
We held this emergency hearing at 2pm on a Friday afternoon in the summer, with just a day’s notice — yet hundreds of people showed up, and over 50 people shared their personal stories about the importance of health care. Here are just a few stories from constituents who attended our field hearing about how access to health care under the Affordable Care Act has saved their lives, or the lives of their children — and how their health and well-being would be jeopardized if Trumpcare passes.
Ariel — Rochester, New Hampshire
Ariel is a mother who is benefiting from substance use disorder services that are included in Medicaid expansion. In Ariel’s words:
“I am a mother of three children and I have a substance abuse disorder. I come from a long line of women who never had much opportunity. With the opportunity to have Medicaid I have been given the chance of treatment. Without the chance of treatment I wouldn’t have been taught that there is a solution and a way to live a full, beautiful life as a woman in recovery, as a mother of three beautiful children, and as a woman of dignity and grace. If the opportunity of Medicaid is taken away, the chance of positive change in this world is going to drastically drop. Women like me may never know a world outside of drug use and hopelessness. Today, because of the opportunity of chance, I am able to be a positive role model to my children and — most importantly — our future.”
Jeff — Franklin, New Hampshire
Our Medicaid program is not only critical to providing key support to combat the substance misuse crisis, it also helps seniors and those who experience disabilities get the care they need. This is something we heard from a Granite Stater named Jeff, who has a form of muscular dystrophy. As Jeff said:
“I am able to live a life that’s independent in my own home, pursuing my own career, only by virtue of the fact that I am able to receive Medicaid services. Specifically, all this discussion about private insurance is well and good, but I think what some Senators aren’t remembering or don’t know is that private insurance doesn’t cover many of the types of services that Medicaid does, especially personal care services that allow us to live independently in our homes and communities, which is where all of us would like to be, if we’re able to. So, I’m concerned about that. I’m concerned about the fact that my understanding is that this bill would allow states to opt out of providing optional Medicaid services, many of which are the waiver programs here in the state that frankly are so vital to folks with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, acquired brain injuries, and all sorts of other conditions. So that part concerns me.”
Medicaid coverage makes it possible for Jeff, and so many others, to work and participate in their communities. Jeff also said that he was concerned about the fact that Trumpcare cuts and caps Medicaid — which we know is really just code for massive cuts that would force states to choose between slashing benefits, reducing the number of people who can get care, or both.
Enna — Exeter, New Hampshire
Senator Shaheen and I also heard from several Granite Staters who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act, and who are concerned that Trumpcare would reduce the care they receive, while raising their costs. One of these people was Emma:
“I am self-employed and purchase health insurance through the Marketplace here in New Hampshire. The ACA had given me the opportunity to purchase affordable health insurance for myself and my family of four. We were unable to maintain insurance consistently prior to the ACA, and even when we did have it, critical preventative care — for myself, as a woman — was not covered by our previous policy. [Trumpcare would] make our health coverage less comprehensive and less affordable. I am certain that our risk of financial and/or health catastrophe would be significantly greater.”
There is no doubt that we should all be working together in order to improve the Affordable Care Act, build on the progress that we’ve made, and lower health care costs for all of our citizens. And I am willing to work with any of my colleagues on bipartisan solutions in order to make that happen. But it’s clear that Trumpcare is not the answer.
While Senate Republicans have delayed a vote on this bill, no one believes that Trumpcare is dead yet. I am going to continue to share the stories of Granite Staters who would have to pay more money for less care under Trumpcare, and I will keep working to ensure that Trumpcare never becomes law.
If you’d like to share your health care story with Senator Hassan, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.