Democrats, Black Leaders, Local Health Care Advocates Slam Trump for Broken Promises On Health Care

PHILADELPHIA — Today, DNC Chair Tom Perez, Black leaders, health care providers and advocates from Philadelphia convened a roundtable to discuss Donald Trump’s record of broken promises on health care. Perez also highlighted Democratic efforts to make health care more affordable for working families, while community leaders discussed the importance of affordable, accessible health care for Black Americans.

This event is the third stop on Chair Perez’s health care tour across the battleground states. He and local leaders from across the country will continue to hold the President accountable for his failure to deliver on health care.

DNC Chair Tom Perez: “Health care is on the ballot. It’s on the ballot in PA, it’s on the ballot across America because everybody understands that health care is a right for all and not a privilege for a few… Let’s be clear, Donald Trump has made promise after promise, whether it was health care, whether it was the economy… he said that ‘I will enhance your health care’ and here we now have a president and an administration that’s been on an unrelenting effort to undo the coverage of the Affordable Care Act. We know here in PA that the Affordable Care Act has been a lifesaver… So many people in this state and across this country are making horrific choices between whether they buy their insulin or whether they buy their groceries. That is a choice that we should never have to make in America, and that is why the House of Representatives, under Speaker Pelosi’s leadership, passed HR3.”

Philadelphia City Councilmember Isaiah Thomas: “My brother knew that I was coming here today to talk about this particular issue, and he sent me a page full of text messages, communicating all the concerns he has as a diabetic and how his life has completely changed since the administration has changed, as he is a diabetic who lives on a fixed income and who also has a chronic illness that he has to deal with. He is a prime example of how his costs, whether it’s to go to the emergency room or to pay for his medication or just a simple doctor’s visit, has gone up significantly, almost tripled, over the last couple of years.”

State Representative Morgan Cephas: “One of the things you recognize immediately when you go up to the commonwealth is that Philadelphia is not just burdened by the issues that we’re talking about today. We have rural counties that are facing the similar challenges, we have suburban counties, and we recognize that oftentimes our colleagues on the other aisle like to paint the picture that it’s only in urban settings where you see these challenges, but again, you see massive hospital closures again in our rural counties and you see some of the challenges with the opioid crisis in our suburban areas. So we are all in this together.”

State House Candidate G. Roni Green: “We should never have to make a decision as to whether we get health care or whether we feed our children, do we get health care or do we pay our bills.”

Marianne South Fray: “What your zip code is should not determine how, what kind of health care you have, and that’s what happens now.”

Tarik Khan: “Donald Trump, his policies have been disastrous for my patients… Let me tell you about our health center. I work at a federally qualified health center in Nicetown, and our health center, we had 25% uninsured before the Affordable Care Act. That means every four patients that come under our clinic, one did not have health insurance, so we could not get reimbursed for the care. After the Affordable Care Act, we went from 25% to under 10% uninsured. That means that we were able to get paid for the services that we provided, we were able to expand the number of providers, and with the opioid epidemic, we now have a robust opioid treatment program at our health center because of the fact that we’re no longer in the red and we’re in the black. If Donald Trump is reelected, about 200 of my patients that I see are going to lose their health care.”

Barbara Wright: “This, to me, is all overwhelming, because to make a long story short, being a healthy person that I thought that I was and then one day, out of the blue, I just — after my job folded and moved overseas — I became sick. I thought I had the flu, but it ended up being pneumonia. From the diagnosis of the pneumonia, the doctors told me that they found a pinhole in my mitral valve. What I thought was a pinhole, ended up being a totally diseased valve. With that, I was devastated. I’m gonna work hard. I’m gonna work, and I come home. But why, right now at this present time, health care is so important to me is because of this: I’m on six different  medications. I can’t afford to pay for that out of my pocket. It would take everything that I have and some that I don’t. I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills. I have a preexisting condition, but so do millions of other people. We have to stop this man from dismantling health care.”