Yesterday, a young Alaskan woman traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Sen. Lisa Murkowski following her meeting with Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Leighan Gonazales was born with a heart condition that required open heart surgery at five months old – a pre-existing condition protected by the Affordable Care Act. She traveled 14 hours from Alaska this week to meet with her Senator to express her fears that, if confirmed, Kavanaugh would rubber stamp the Republican war on health care and overturn protections for 326,000 Alaskans with pre-existing conditions.
Alaska Public Media, “Alaskans Press Murkowski on Kavanaugh”: Some 30 Alaskans flew to the nation’s capital mid-week to urge Murkowski to vote no. Among them was Leighan Gonzales, a student at UAA. “I made a very personal appeal and I asked her to vote no on his nomination because I’m honestly concerned and very scared of this person being on the Supreme Court,” Gonzales said. Gonzales was born with a heart condition that required surgery. She said Kavanaugh is hostile to a key promise of the Affordable Care Act: that people with pre-existing conditions won’t be denied insurance coverage.[…] Gonzales said Murkowski seemed receptive to her message on Thursday. “I brought a picture, a baby picture post-surgery, with this giant scar on my tiny baby chest,” Gonzales said. “She was really moved by that, and I felt very optimistic.”
KDXF (Fairbanks), “Alaskans Ask Murkowski to Vote Against Kavanaugh for Supreme Court Justice”: Leighan Gonzales of Anchorage, who was born with a heart condition, is worried that thousands of Alaskans will lose protections in the current ACA if Murkowski votes in favor of the supreme court nominee.”The biggest concern and the reason I asked her to vote no on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination is the pre-existing protections that were brought forward in the ACA. There have been a lot of attacks on the Affordable Care Act recently. And these are issues that we know in Alaska are so much closer to home and bigger than in other states where we discuss healthcare accessibility,” said Gonzales.
KTUU (Anchorage), “Murkowski Meets with Kavanaugh as Alaskans Weigh In”: Alaskan activists flew to the Capitol overnight to tell Murkowski what they thought of Kavanaugh’s nomination. Leighan Gonzales, says she wants Murkowski to consider people like her with pre-existing conditions – she was born with a hole in her heart. She’s worried about the impact Kavanaugh could have on health care laws. “I’m concerned about not knowing enough about his record and that the hearings are being pushed forward too quickly,” Gonzales said.
Concerned Alaskans have held 12 press calls, press conferences, and events across the state in the six weeks since Kavanaugh’s nomination was announced. In each instance, Alaskans relying on protections for pre-existing conditions or expanded Medicaid services created by the Affordable Care Act have made clear that Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination