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

Stacey Abrams speaks at this morning’s event in Atlanta.

ATLANTA, GEORGIA – This morning, Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour arrived in Atlanta to call attention to the ongoing Republican war on health care care. Headlined by Stacey Abrams and former Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, the event highlighted the actions Republicans are taking to harm Georgians’ care and called on them to work instead to protect our care.

Abrams spoke of her parents, recalling the time they nearly lost their health care when the church they worked at couldn’t afford to pay their premiums, and she was able to help cover the cost.

“I know what it’s like to lose everything and to not necessarily have children or family members to step up and help,” said Abrams. “800,000 people in Georgia live in a household where there’s a full-time worker and yet they do not have coverage. This is a solvable problem in the state of Georgia, and that’s why I’m fighting so hard for Medicaid expansion.”

Abrams’ remarks were echoed by Richards, who discussed her time working for Planned Parenthood, which provides health care coverage for more than two million Americans each year.

“The most important work that we did was creating an alliance with folks all across the country to pass the Affordable Care Act,” said Richards. “Because of the Affordable Care Act that women no longer have to pay more for the same health care coverage that men recieve. It’s because of the Affordable Care Act women can’t be denied coverage because they’ve been pregnant or had breast cancer… Because of the ACA, being a woman is no longer a pre-existing condition in the United States of America.”

Former U.S. Representative Donna Edwards discussed voting for the ACA, and what its passage meant to her.

“At the time, I thought that it was about everybody else’s coverage [but] when I was set to depart Congress in 2016, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis,” said Edwards. “Today, I pay for my own health care coverage… I’m afraid that with the current Administration and the moves of Republicans in Congress, my pre-existing prediction will not longer be protected and I will lose my health care.”

The importance of Abrams’, Richards’, and Edwards’ comments were made clear by cancer survivor Laura Packard.

“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.”

Abrams, Richards, Edwards, and Packard were also joined by Staci Fox, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, who highlighted the actions Georgia Republicans have taken to defund health care centers and deny women coverage; Janel Greene, co-founder of the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice, who discussed her battle with breast cancer and conversations she has had with family members explaining that the ACA is not a handout, but rather provides important protections for millions of Americans; and Janna Blum of Little Lobbyists, who spoke of her four-year-old son, Elijah, who was born with a pre-existing condition, and the need to maintain these crucial protections provided under the ACA.

At today’s event, Atlanta 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 Georgians’. Because of the Republican repeal-and-sabotage agenda:

  • Georgians will see their premiums rise by as much as 14.7 percent next year. It’s expected that 40 year old Georgians  will face an extra $1,270 for marketplace coverage in 2019 because of Republican sabotage of the health care market.
  • In Georgia  out of pocket costs for older people could have increased by as much as $10,553 by 2026 if the House-passed American Health Care Act had become law.
  • Nearly 475,000 Georgians have been denied access to affordable health coverage through Republican state officials’ refusal to expand Medicaid.
  • Junk insurance plans that charge money for skimpy coverage could return to Georgia and 242,000 Georgians 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.
  • 404,000 Georgians who have obtained health insurance through the ACA marketplace could lose their coverage if a judge sides with Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, President Trump and the GOP in their lawsuit; and protections for 4.3 million Georgians  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, including six in the state of Georgia, exacerbating the care and coverage gaps that exist for families in America’s rural communities.

Next week, Care Force One will wrap up its nationwide bus tour with five stops across Florida. For more information, please visit protectourcarebustour.com.