Katie Sherman is grateful there was affordable health insurance for her and her young daughter when they needed it. She has always had insurance. Then last December she lost her full-time job and the source of her health insurance. She works part-time, but her daughter has expensive hearing problems requiring care that she could not afford to pay by herself. The attractive Katie told her story this morning at a press conference hosted by the Maine People’s Alliance at Portland’s City Hall.
Katie is one of more than 75,000 Mainers enrolled in ACA. She is fearful that she could lose it with no simultaneous replacement. “That’s why I’m calling on Senator Collins to reject any attempts to repeal health care until there is a viable replacement plan in place. Not a framework or an idea of a replacement,” she said.
The press conference comes after Senator Collins introduced a framework for a replacement that would shift the decision of whether to keep or dismantle the health care law back to individual states. The proposal also repeals or weakens some patient protections required by the current law, including essential coverage for maternity care. Advocates at the press conference this morning reiterated that any repeal of the health care law without an immediate replacement would be disastrous for Maine families.
“Health coverage gives kids access to the care they need to be healthy and gives families peace of mind. Thanks to the ACA, thousands of Maine families have gained coverage, allowing more Maine kids to get a healthy start in life” said Kate Ender, Consumer Assistance Program Manager at Consumers for Affordable Health Care.” “Maine families cannot afford to have the rug pulled out from under them.”
“Out of all the indicators used to measure the well-being of children, one that has been an especially bright spot has been the percentage of children insured – which is now about 95% nationally. The Affordable Care Act has been a major reason for this improvement,” said Michael Petit, president of Every Child Matters, a national advocacy group for children and former commissioner of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. “Tens of thousands of Maine’s children are depending on Senator Collins to fight on their behalf and ensure we do not go backwards. We urge her to withhold her support for any measure that does not insure all children or that results in any loss of coverage to their families.”
“I am relieved that there was affordable health insurance for us and that we don’t pay an additional premium because of her condition, but I’m worried about what comes next. If congress moves forward with repealing the law, what will happen to us? What will happen to the medical care that my daughter receives? I’m worried not just for my family, but for the thousands of other families in Maine who are faced with this same uncertainty,” said Sherman.