Americans to House GOP: What did we do to deserve Trumpcare?

As House Republicans celebrated the passage of Trumpcare, anxiety set in for Americans who would be harmed by the bill. People from states across the nation shared their fears that Trumpcare would mean they or their loved ones would lose health care coverage. 


Because of the Affordable Care Act, millions gained health coverage and no American has to live in fear of being denied coverage by insurance companies for a pre-existing condition. House Republicans on Thursday voted to undo all of that progress, and simultaneously sowed fear in the hearts of so many voters – including their own constituents.



Neil Kelly, Ohio


Via “With his yes vote on Thursday, my representative, Steve Chabot, told me I mattered less than his healthy constituents because I happen to have been paralyzed at birth. As a 26-year-old young adult, I have only recently aged out of limits to remain on my parents' health insurance plan. Ahead of me is a lifetime of doctor appointments, tests, medications, procedures, and surgeries. That is to say nothing, also, of the future costs of medical equipment I need to sustain a high quality of life.”



Marianthe Poulianos, Florida


Via Huffington Post: A self-employed attorney, Poulianos and her two children relied on her husband’s health insurance plan until he died unexpectedly at the age of 41. Her kids were 7 and 10 years old. They all relied on COBRA to get by. When that ended, so did their insurance. 


“Obamacare came along at just the right time,” she said. Without it, she would either have had to take a job in a law firm or change careers. But finding a new job with less flexibility would have been tough, since her kids “really needed me.” […] “I went to school, got married, had kids, worked, employed people, made my children my priority. My husband died and today I feel as if my family is being punished for that.”



Sarah Foye, New Jersey


Via The Observer: The sidewalk in front of the Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s district office was packed with protesters on Thursday as the House held a vote to rewrite the Affordable Care Act. […] “He’s called a representative and I’d actually like him to represent us,” Sarah Foye of Montville said. Foye’s son has a disability, something that she said could reduce his coverage options and subject him to discrimination under the GOP healthcare bill, known as the American Health Care Act.



Jacqueline Church Simonds, Nevada


Via Huffington Post: In 2010, Simonds began having bizarre, scary health episodes. She was hospitalized for five days but lacked insurance; she and her husband ran their own business, and his pre-existing conditions made him uninsurable. She was able to negotiate down the $42,000 bill, but she still needed her parents’ help to pay the remaining $18,900.


The following year, she became sick again. Her surgeon told her she needed a couple of feet of her colon removed or she would die. When she told the medical staff she simply wasn’t able to pay for such an operation, they informed her about the Affordable Care Act. She signed up for coverage and had the operation. […]


“I keep wondering why they want to kill me. Why are rich people so much more important than I am that their tax cuts are more important than my health? How can people vote to “improve” healthcare, but make themselves immune from the effects? So, you want to know how I feel about AHCA? I am thoroughly, implacably angry.”



Irene Strohbeen, Wisconsin


Via NBC26: Protesters gathered outside of Congressman Mike Gallagher's office in Appleton Thursday in response to the health care vote in congress. […] Irene Strohbeen also said she is considered a person with pre-existing conditions because of genetic condition that affects her blood. She is afraid if the Affordable Care act is repealed she won't be able to afford health insurance.  Thursday afternoon she participated and called on Congressman Gallagher to protect her and so many others like her in her situation. “I ask him to vote 'no' and I'm asking him to improve the ACA rather than continuing to defeat it,” said Strohbeen. 



Casey Green, Louisiana


Via CNN: When Casey Green was born, she was purple and wasn't breathing. Doctors say her brain didn't get enough oxygen right before birth, and she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.  She spent 11 days in the neonatal intensive care unit. But Green learned to walk, talk and write with the help of a therapy program, the now 30-year-old said. She is finishing a PhD and works at the Louisiana School for Math, Science and the Arts […] “I have good health insurance and am married to a wonderful man. Now, I am worried about our future,’ said Green.” She takes four medications a day to manage her symptoms. “Without them I find it difficult to get through the day,” she said. “I take these medications, not because of anything I did, but because of a medical emergency as a result of my birth. Should the circumstances of my birth determine all my future life decisions?”



Eliana Espinosa, Florida


Via CNN: Eliana Espinosa was diagnosed with leukemia at 3 years old. The 19-year-old from Miami underwent chemotherapy and has been in remission for 12 years. She's currently a mathematics major at St. Thomas University in Miami Gardens, and visits an oncologist once a year for a checkup. Now she's concerned for her 57-year-old mother, who was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer and gets treatment through the Affordable Care Act. “Right now we don't make too much money, so if she loses her insurance, I would end up having to stop going to college so that I can get a job to help pay for her medical expenses,” Espinosa said.



Bill Petrich, New York


Via Huffington Post: At 21, Petrich was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Treatment was in 2010 and 2011, and Obamacare allowed him to stay on his mother’s private plan. Now 28, he lives in New York and must fend for himself. […] “I can feel the foreboding in my stomach. I’m literally shaking a little bit right now, I was really hoping this wouldn’t pass. I know that, for the rest of my life, I will be seen not as a human being but as a pre-existing condition by private healthcare providers.”



Crystal Brigman Mahaney & Rev. Phil Snider, Missouri


Via Ozarks First: Missourians who are worried about the future of their health care were protesting the Trumpcare vote outside of Congressman Billy Long's office in Springfield. […]


Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri stood in protest Thursday. Missouri Health Care for All also spoke out against this bill. Republicans supporting it say the current plan had its own problems and it needed to be fixed. But both groups are disappointed with the vote. “We were finally in a place where we didn't have to worry about being priced out of insurance,” said Crystal Brigman Mahaney with Missouri Health Care for All.

“It's going to make it very difficult to have access to care for many people in our nation,” said Rev. Phil Snider, a senior minister at Brentwood Christian Church, who joined protesters outside Long's office.



Stacy Jarrell, Florida


Via Huffington Post: “I’m somewhere between totally pissed off and sick to my stomach right now. And I’m scared,” Jarrell told HuffPost shortly after Thursday’s vote. She’s 54 and widowed and petrified about losing her health care. Years before, she said, a doctor misread a mammogram that allowed insurers to label her as having a pre-existing condition. Obamacare came along and gave her solace. She makes under $40,000 a year and gets a subsidy to help purchase insurance on the Obamacare exchange in her state.