ICYMI: Doug Jones, Health Care Advocates Rally to Protect the Affordable Care Act as Trump Promises to Repeal It

March 22, 2024

On Thursday, former U.S. Senator Doug Jones held a press conference in Atlanta to celebrate the fourteenth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) becoming law and highlight the urgent threat facing more than 1.2 million Georgians’ health care if Donald Trump is elected. At the press conference, he was joined by Himali Patel, a local small business owner who gets her health care through the ACA, and Luisa Wakeman, a registered nurse in Atlanta. While President Biden has lowered costs, expanded health care coverage, and protected the ACA, Trump is promising to once again try to repeal the health care law and gut health care protections for more than a million Georgians. 

In the past few months alone, Trump has repeatedly claimed he would overturn the ACA, calling the landmark law “a catastrophe,” and saying Republicans should “never give up” trying to repeal the ACA – despite the fact that the law is more popular than ever and a record number of people are signing up for new policies. And this week, his MAGA allies in Congress released a budget straight from Trump’s wishlist that would gut the Affordable Care Act.  

“As we celebrate everything the ACA has done to help folks get the care they need, we need to remember that it’s on the line in November. Donald Trump is still campaigning on trying to repeal the ACA. We need to take him at his word that he will try to get rid of it if he gets reelected,” said former U.S. Senator from Alabama Doug Jones. “The bottom line is, the ACA has saved lives in my home state in Alabama, here in Georgia, and across the country by putting health care within reach. Joe Biden will protect it; Donald Trump will dismantle it.”

“If Donald Trump gets reelected and repeals the Affordable Care Act, I don’t know what I’d do. I don’t want to go back to the time when I couldn’t get insurance that I could afford, and I don’t want to have to worry about my health care even more than I already do. It’s hard enough living with chronic illnesses day to day having to worry about how I’d have affordable health insurance and whether I’d even qualify is another thing,” said Himali Patel, who gets her health care coverage through the ACA. “I know President Biden understands how hard this is for me and the toll it takes on my family. I know that he’ll continue to work hard to protect the coverage I have and I know he’s working to lower costs and to make it easier for me to get the care that I need.”

“Health care professionals just want to see their patients get the best care possible, and the ACA has opened up so many options for people by cutting the costs of many treatments and medications. On the most basic level, the ACA has made it easier for people to get the care they need,” said Luisa Wakeman, a registered nurse and Georgia Medical Reserve Corps volunteer. “If Donald Trump gets elected to a second term and repeals the ACA, costs would go up for families across Georgia. Thousands of people would lose their health care and thousands more would see their care become unaffordable. It would be harder and much more expensive for people to get preventative care, medications, and other care that they need.”

During his first term, Trump was one vote away from repealing the ACA. Now, he’s campaigning on a promise to take away health care protections for 100 million Americans with pre-existing conditions like cancer, asthma, and diabetes; raise premiums and health care costs by thousands of dollars a year for millions of Americans; raise seniors’ prescription drug costs by hundreds of dollars per year; jeopardize free preventive care like cancer screenings, annual check-ups, and cholesterol tests; cause uninsurance rates for communities of color to skyrocket; kick millions of young people off their parents’ coverage; and take away access to mental health care or substance abuse treatment for millions.

Meanwhile, President Biden was instrumental in passing the ACA. As president, he has bolstered the law to lower costs and expand access to health care, including by taking on Big Pharma to lower prescription drug costs and cap insulin at $35 a month for seniors; lowering premiums and saving millions of Americans $800 per year; helping more Americans get covered than ever before; working to protect and strengthen Medicare; and expanding access to mental health care. 


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