Local Health Care Advocates Join Protect Our Care to Call for an End to GOP Attacks on Iowans’ Health Care

Black Hawk County Supervisor Chris Schwartz speaks in front of Care Force One in Cedar Falls.

CEDAR FALLS, IOWA- This afternoon, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in Cedar Falls to call attention to the ongoing Republican war on health care care. Headlined by Black Hawk County Supervisor Chris Schwartz and cancer survivor Laura Packard, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are trying to harm Iowans’ care and called on the GOP to work instead to protect our care.

“I’m alive because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Packard. “I’m a stage four cancer survivor and I’m on this tour to defend our attacks against the GOP. President Trump may have blocked me on Twitter, but he can’t stop me and the American people from fighting to protect our care.”

“Rod Blum has never had to worry about his health care,” said Schwartz. “Rod Blum has never had to worry about losing his home because someone in his family got sick. Rod Blum doesn’t have to decide between paying for his medication and paying his utilities… Every family is going to have a crisis at some point, and if we don’t have the Affordable Care Act in place, I feel sorry for the future.”

Packard and Schwartz were joined by small business owner Dave Deibler, who talked about the inability of his wife to obtain coverage before the ACA due to her pre-existing condition, as well as Ruth Strong and Sherry Kiskunas, Black Hawk County residents who spoke of the pre-existing conditions they and their loved ones have, the access they have gained to care under the ACA, and  the harms repeal would bring to Iowans of all backgrounds.

The full event can be seen here.

At today’s event, Cedar Falls residents, health care advocates, elected officials and members of Protect Our Care detailed the numbers ways in which Republicans have attacked health care, and how these actions have cut coverage and increased costs for Iowans. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:

  • Iowans will see their premiums rise by an average of 5.6 percent next year. It’s expected that 40 year old Iowans will face an extra $1,450 for marketplace coverage in 2019 because of Republican sabotage of the health care market.
  • In Iowa, out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $12,671 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law.
  • Iowa expanded Medicaid under the ACA and the nearly 150,000 Iowans who have gained coverage because of this program would find their care at risk if the law were repealed.
  • Junk insurance plans that charge money for skimpy coverage could return to Iowa and 71,000 Iowans could lack comprehensive coverage in 2019 because they will either become uninsured or will be enrolled in junk plans that don’t provide key health benefits.
  • 46,000 Iowans who have obtained health insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage if a judge sides with President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit; and protections for 1.3 million Iowans, including 318,300 in IA-01, living with a pre-existing condition would be in jeopardy.
  • Hundreds of billions of dollars have been cut from Medicare.
  • Dozens of hospitals in rural areas have closed, exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.
  • Representative Rod Blum voted for and passed a health care repeal bill that would cause 23 million people to lose coverage and gut protections for people with pre-existing condition; voted for a budget amendment that would cut Medicaid by $700 billion over ten years, $114 billion in a single year alone; voted for a tax scam that doubled as a sneaky repeal of the Affordable Care Act  by kicking 13 million people off of their insurance and raising premiums by double digits for millions more.

Next Monday, “Care Force One” will head to Des Moines. For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.