VIDEO: Bustos, House Democratic Leadership Show Real Impact of Republican Plans to Repeal the ACA and #MakeAmericaSickAgain

Bustos tells the story of how repeal would hurt the Carlson Family from Abingdon, Illinois

WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (IL-17), Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, joined several other House Democrats for a press conference to tell the stories of Americans who have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act and would be hurt by its repeal. In her remarks, Congresswoman Bustos told the story of Emily Carlson, a small business owner and mother of two young children, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 17 years ago. Before the Affordable Care Act, the only coverage she could get cost $800 per month, and with her medication costing about $5,000 per month, she often had to choose between getting treatment for her condition or going into debt.

Because of the Affordable Care Act, Emily and her family of four are all covered for less than the cost of her old individual plan – however, with Washington Republicans promising a repeal with no plan for replacement, the Carlson family could once again see their health care costs skyrocket and be forced into making some incredibly difficult decisions.

“I didn’t choose to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but if Washington Republicans choose to take away our health care coverage, it’s going to make our lives much harder,” said Emily Carlson. “My husband is a farmer and I am the co-owner of a small business – we work hard to provide for our two young children. Because of the Affordable Care Act, we’ve saved thousands of dollars every year, but if Congress repeals this life-saving law, how am I going to get health care with an expensive pre-existing condition? This is personal to our family, but we aren’t alone. There are millions of families just like us who would be devastated if the Republicans don’t stop before it’s too late.”

“Too often, policies in Washington are looked at through numbers, charts and spreadsheets rather than the impact they’ll have on the people we serve. That’s why I want to thank the Carlson family for having the courage to tell their story,” Congresswoman Bustos said. “As a small business owner and wife of a farmer, Emily Carlson and her family work hard and don’t ask for much – but 17 years ago, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, an expensive and chronic disease. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, Emily and her husband often had to make the impossible choice between paying for her health coverage or going into debt. The Affordable Care Act has had a tremendous impact on her life, and today, her family of four gets quality coverage for less than the cost of her old individual plan, which didn’t even cover maternity care. Republicans in Washington need to understand that their plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act would undermine the economic and health security of millions of Americans like Emily, and I will never stop fighting to protect them.

Last week, Congresswoman Bustos sent a web survey to her constituents asking how ACA repeal would impact families across Illinois’ 17th Congressional District. Despite the fact that President-elect Donald Trump won the District, more than 60 percent of respondents to her survey opposed repeal.

To watch the press conference where Congresswoman Bustos shared Emily’s story, click here. Her remarks begin at about the 20:45 mark.