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DeFazio Holds Roundtable Discussion with Oregonians on Protecting the ACA

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - October 29, 2020

Contact: Katrina Martell (214) 229-3610 or [email protected]

Eugene, Oregon — As the lawsuit to gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA) makes its way to the Supreme Court in less than two weeks, Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) today hosted a virtual roundtable with Fourth District residents to discuss the importance of protecting the ACA and expanding access to quality, affordable health care to more Oregon families. Congressman DeFazio was joined by four Oregonians, who discussed living with pre-existing conditions before the Affordable Care Act, their experiences with the Oregon Health Plan, and using Medicare Part D to help with the cost of prescription drugs (VIDEO OF THE ROUNDTABLE AT THIS LINK).

“In the midst of a global pandemic, which has already taken the lives of more than 226,000 Americans, my opponent supports stripping away the very law that protects people with pre-existing conditions and provides health care for thousands of Oregon families,” said Congressman DeFazio. “Our discussion today further illustrated the importance of the Affordable Care Act, which has been a lifeline, improving access to affordable, quality health care to thousands of families in the Fourth District. Oregonians can’t afford to lose the Affordable Care Act. I’ll keep fighting to protect and expand access to coverage for more families in our communities.”

“My dialysis bill without insurance is $37,000. I absolutely could not afford to pay that out of pocket if I was dropped from insurance because of my pre-existing condition. Losing these ACA protections would be very scary for me. I’m operating through Medicare to get dialysis and on a transplant list,” said Dawna Roberts, OR-4 resident.

“As an RN involved in senior care, I have seen firsthand what Peter DeFazio has done for seniors, and for veterans, in terms of protecting their care. Health care should be a right, and the ACA really is a gift. You can’t predict when you’ll need it. The impact of the ACA going away would be catastrophic. So many people don’t even realize they may have a pre-existing condition. I can’t think of a worse time to take away ACA, of all times, during a pandemic,” said Donna Courtney, RN, OR-4 resident.

“Through Medicare Part D, I get generic prescriptions for $3.19, non-generics for $8.19. I also get free preventative care visits. One of the prescriptions was $380 for a 30 day supply, I got it for $8.19. It was a blood thinner, very serious medication to prevent blood clots. I already have a pre-existing lose any kind of coverage, I don’t know how I’d pay for it. I simply couldn’t afford it without the Medicare benefit under the ACA,” said Chris Jennings, OR-4 resident.

“The OHP provides me with peace of mind, if I get sick or hurt, I will be covered. I lost my job because of COVID. The only income I’m able to get is unemployment, and that has a time limit. If I lose access to the ACA, it will completely throw my financial situation through several loops. Health care is such a basic and necessary right, I’m glad Congressman DeFazio is fighting for extending unemployment and another COVID relief package to help folks like me get through this pandemic.” said Tim Morris, OR-4 resident.

The Supreme Court will hear the Trump Administration’s lawsuit to strike down the ACA on November 10. If the ACA is repealed, more than 72,000 individuals in the Fourth District would lose their health care and more than 317,000 with pre-existing conditions would be at risk of losing coverage. Furthermore, if the ACA is struck down, 155,000 seniors on Medicare Part D in the Fourth District would see their prescription drug prices skyrocket and be subject to a $2,400 co-pay that the ACA did away with. While Congressman DeFazio has fought throughout his career to make health care more affordable, OR-4 Republican candidate Alek Skarlatos is on the record opposing the Affordable Care Act, but has yet to offer a plan to replace it.

Earlier this year, DeFazio voted for H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act, to protect people with pre-existing conditions, so insurance companies cannot kick them off their coverage. And he is fighting the greedy pharmaceutical industry to lower the cost of Rx drugs. In September, 2020, DeFazio’s bill to curb health-insurance price gouging unanimously passed the House to help rein in skyrocketing health care costs and ensure consumer protections are in place to guard against the health insurance industry’s abuses and greed. He believes Social Security and Medicare are promises we made to our seniors who worked hard and earned them. He’s voted to stop attempts to cut benefits and will never privatize Medicare or Social Security. He wrote legislation to shore up these benefits, increasing the amount seniors receive and making sure these programs are there for future generations.

Posted on October 29, 2020 in Press Releases.

As Independent as Oregon.

Peter DeFazio's common-sense proposals aim to create good-paying jobs, expand access to affordable health care and develop options outside of the for-profit marketplace, restore economic and educational opportunities, hold government accountable and tip the scales of inequality back in favor of hard-working Oregonians.

Meet Peter