October 19, 2020 Press Releases

Granite Staters in Salem Criticize Messner for Comments Denying Pre-Existing Conditions

October 19, 2020
Contact: Ally Livingston, alivingston@jeanneshaheen.org

Salem, N.H. – Granite Staters with pre-existing conditions and health care advocates in Salem criticized Republican U.S. Senate candidate Corky Messner for denying the existence of pre-existing conditions. During both New Hampshire Senate debates, Messner said that pre-existing conditions are mere “health conditions” and dismissed voters’ concerns about his efforts to repeal the ACA as “fear-mongering” to justify his support for repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In response to Messner’s attacks on the 572,000 Granite Staters with pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, and cancer, Sabina Chen, Steve White, and Paula Garvey shared their health care stories and called on their friends and neighbors to re-elect Senator Jeanne Shaheen in order to protect their health care.

“Jeanne Shaheen has made a difference for New Hampshire as both Governor and Senator, and has always fought to lower health care costs, for working families, and for small businesses,” said Sabina Chen from Pelham, whose family is insured under the ACA and at risk of losing their health care if Messner succeeds in repealing the ACA. “Corky Messner moved here from Colorado two years ago just to run for Senate. His only goal is to stand with Donald Trump and repeal the ACA and its protections for people with pre-existing conditions. Jeanne Shaheen fights for people with pre-existing conditions. Corky Messner doesn’t think pre-existing conditions even exist. He calls pre-existing conditions a ‘fear tactic.’ There are 572,000 Granite Staters with pre-existing conditions like asthma, diabetes, cancer, and now COVID. That’s not a ‘fear tactic.’ That’s a fact.”

“My daughter Rosie was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis when she was two years old. There is no cure for the disease. For many years, children born with Cystic Fibrosis lived just a few months. Before the ACA, families like ours, we struggled to access affordable health care,” said Paula Garvey from Amherst. “Now insurance companies can no longer discriminate against families with pre-existing conditions, like ours. We can keep our daughter on my husband’s insurance until she’s 26. And in the future, if Rosie needs a lung transplant or surgery, it won’t force us into bankruptcy. All because of the ACA. It is so wrong for Republicans like Corky Messner to say pre-existing conditions don’t exist. We live it. This is our life, and they’re working to gut my family’s health care protections.”

“I know what it’s like to not have health care because of a pre-existing condition. I was a 48 year old, uninsured single parent paying child support when my pre-existing condition occurred: an emergency quadruple bypass. After that, I was a cardiac patient.” said Steve White from Nottingham. “The ACA changed everything. Within two months of enrolling through the exchange, I was rushed into an operating room for an emergency triple bypass. So what would have happened to me if I hadn’t signed up? Would I have made it to surgery? Would I be here today? That’s why protections for people with pre-existing conditions are so important to me. The ACA may have saved my life, and there are thousands and thousands of people like me across New Hampshire.”

For photos or recordings of the event, email press@jeanneshaheen.org.