July 27, 2020 Press Releases

Shaheen Vows to Protect Granite Staters with Pre-Existing Conditions At Manchester Campaign Event

July 27, 2020
Josh Marcus-Blank, josh@jeanneshaheen.org

Manchester, N.H. — Jeanne Shaheen joined health care advocates and Granite Staters with pre-existing conditions today to discuss her efforts to strengthen the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and lower health care costs. In stark contrast, Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans — as well as Shaheen’s potential GOP opponents — have vowed to continue their efforts to repeal the ACA if elected in 2020, which would threaten protections for 572,000 Granite Staters with pre-existing conditions like diabetes, substance use disorder, and cancer. Shaheen’s Manchester campaign event was held one day before the anniversary of the Senate vote when Republicans almost eliminated the ACA. If Republicans were to repeal the ACA today, it could kick 105,000 Granite Staters off their health care during the coronavirus pandemic.

Manchester Campaign Event

“If Republicans succeed in repealing the Affordable Care Act, it would threaten health care coverage for nearly 600,000 Granite Staters with pre-existing conditions, and I’m not going to let that happen,” said U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen. “We need to build on the Affordable Care Act, making health care more accessible by reducing copayments and lowering the cost of prescription drugs. Yet the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans are dead set on eliminating the ACA without a plan to replace it. Taking away people’s health care is incredibly reckless, especially during a pandemic. Granite Staters helped us defeat Republican efforts to repeal the ACA in 2017 by sharing their stories, and I look forward to continuing to work with them to protect New Hampshire’s health care.”

“It’s difficult to talk about this still, but five years ago my wife, Kerri, was diagnosed with colon cancer and every six months she goes to get tested. She’s been cancer-free for five years—it’s great, but it’s always in the back of your mind,” said NH Senator Kevin Cavanaugh. “If [repeal] goes through, she’s got a pre-existing illness along with almost 600,000 other New Hampshire residents. And if she lost her coverage, it would be devastating to us. I think the other side knows how important this race is, and I’ll work as hard as I can, more than anything I can, to get Senator Shaheen back there because she stands up time and again for working people and all Granite Staters.”

“People don’t understand, when we treat substance abuse and mental health, we’re treating child abuse, domestic abuse, DUI problems, drug problems. We have to start looking at this as a broad spectrum because it’s not just the person who’s suffering, it’s the victims of the person who’s suffering,” said Dr. Cheryl Wilkie from Bow. “A few years back, before we had the ACA, we had very little treatment, we had higher deaths, more crime and a lot of people were being sent out of state, which is not good for New Hampshire… Senator Shaheen showed up at everything. She showed us support and that was incredibly important to all of us. We knew that the state cared about us. Without the ACA and the Medicaid portion for expansion, we’re going to go backward.”

“Both my son and I are diabetics. It’s a challenging disease on its own, and worrying about whether or not we can afford our life-saving care, including insulin, feels like a full time job… If it weren’t for the ACA, there would be nothing stopping insurance companies from refusing to cover me because of my diabetes,” said Amanda Cheney from Milford. “Being a diabetic is very expensive, and if you ration your insulin, it will lead to high blood sugar, lots of complications and possibly death. When Trump and Republicans were getting close to repealing our health care I went to Congress to advocate for people with diabetes… I’m grateful to you, Senator Shaheen, for fighting for us and continuing to be our best advocate in Congress.”

“Thinking about the idea of legislators talking about taking care away from 100,000 people just in New Hampshire is unimaginable to me, but that’s what they’re doing when they threaten ACA protections,” said Leah Stagnone, a recent college graduate from Litchfield who is still able to use her parents’ insurance due to the ACA. “My health care needs became pretty significant about four years ago, the timeline of that has coincided with a lot of attacks on health care, unfortunately. I’ve acquired a lot of chronic diagnoses over the last few years and there’s been a concern every time I get a new diagnosis about ‘could this hurt my access to care in the future?’ which feels kind of backwards when you’re searching for answers. I wanted to thank Senator Shaheen for fighting so hard to make sure that health care is affordable and accessible for all of us.”

Manchester Campaign Event Manchester Campaign Event

The first woman in U.S. history to be elected both Governor and U.S. Senator, Jeanne Shaheen has led bipartisan efforts to expand and protect access to quality health care while reducing premium and deductible costs and ending surprise medical bills. As Governor, Shaheen expanded affordable health insurance to tens of thousands of New Hampshire children, and in the Senate, she is fighting for common-sense steps to lower prescription drug costs for everyone, including allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower drug prices, getting cheaper generic prescription drugs into the market, and stopping big drug companies from collecting tax breaks for their TV advertising. She has helped lead bipartisan efforts to block Donald Trump and Congressional Republican from repealing the Affordable Care Act, protecting health care for nearly 100,000 Granite Staters and those relying on the ACA for substance use disorder treatment.

Social-distancing and masks were required at Shaheen’s Manchester campaign event to ensure the health and safety of attendees and the media.

For more information, please visit www.JeanneShaheen.org. For photos of the events and the audio recording, email press@jeanneshaheen.org.