U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff criticizes attempt to overturn the Affordable Care ActU.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff and Congresswoman-elect Carolyn Bourdeaux were joined by advocates from Protect Our Care Georgia, as well as some Georgia residents, to discuss the Affordable Care Act. The event took place at Liberty Park Plaza near the state capitol as the Supreme Court of the United States began oral arguments on the lawsuit that could overturn the ACA. Photo by Zoe Seiler.
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By Zoe Seiler, contributor
Atlanta, GA – With the Supreme Court of the United States beginning oral arguments today, Nov. 10, regarding the Affordable Care Act, Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Jon Ossoff and Congresswoman-elect Carolyn Bourdeaux joined advocates from Protect Our Care Georgia to discuss the ACA lawsuit.
They held a press conference Tuesday at Liberty Park in Atlanta.
Ossoff is running against incumbent Senator David Perdue in the Senate runoff election that will take place on Jan. 5, 2021.
The Trump administration and several Republican-led states are asking the court to strike down the Affordable Care Act, legislation that was passed 10 years ago under former President Barack Obama which includes protections for those with pre-existing conditions.
The lawsuit could potentially impact millions of Americans including about 4.4 million Georgians who have pre-existing conditions, according to Protect Our Care Georgia. The Georgia attorney general and Senators Perdue and Kelly Loeffler support the lawsuit, Ossoff said.
“Sen. Perdue and Sen. Loeffler support this lawsuit because they want their donors in the health insurance industry to be able to make as much money as possible with no obligation to the public interest, with no obligation to public health and with no responsibility to provide coverage to people when we need it most in our lives,” Ossoff said.
Bordeaux described the impact the healthcare system has had on her family as her father suffered from a prolonged illness for about 10 years and her mother cared for him. She said all of their discretionary income was used to pay for her father’s prescription medications.
She added that there are 120,000 people in Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, which she will represent in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The Affordable Care Act is incredibly important to the people of the 7th (Congressional) District. And not only do you have these issues where you have uncompensated care, but our business community is very, very dependent on this legislation,” Bordeaux said. “In the 7th (Congressional) District, we have some of the highest enrollment on the health insurance exchange in the state of Georgia and in the country.”
Bordeaux and Ossoff criticized the Trump administration and Senators Perdue and Loeffler for their support of overturning the ACA while the country is in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re in the middle of a global health emergency, unprecedented in our lifetimes. This is a moment when all of us should be united to expand access to affordable health care to make sure that nobody loses their coverage because they get sick, to make sure that everybody can afford their prescriptions — this is not a matter of partisan politics. This is a matter of the public interest,” Ossoff said.
“Over these next eight weeks during this runoff election I will continue to demand that Senator Perdue explain his indefensible support for these efforts to destroy access to health care for his own constituents in the middle of the pandemic,” he added.
Members of Protect Our Care Georgia as well as Georgians with pre-existing conditions spoke at the press conference to detail their experiences with coverage under the ACA.
Decatur resident Janel Green is facing a battle with breast cancer after being in remission from her first diagnosis in 2013. Her health insurer must provide coverage for cancer due to the Affordable Care Act, she said.
Additionally, one of her medications costs over $10,000 a month. She doesn’t have to worry about her insurance company setting limits on what it will pay in any given year also due to the ACA, she added.
Green also said that the protections of the ACA affect everyone.
“While millions of Americans like me benefit from having protection from discrimination due to having a pre-existing condition and because insurers can no longer charge me more simply because I’m a woman, we all benefit so much more,” Green said.
She encouraged voters to think about the ACA and healthcare as they go to the polls in January.
“We must stand up and fight back against the heartless attacks on our health care and on our very lives,” Green said. “The last thing any person needs to worry about in the middle of this pandemic is whether or not they have healthcare and can afford to go to the doctor, especially not the most vulnerable among us.”
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