This afternoon at 1pm EST, the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee will hold a hearing on the impact of the Republican plan to repeal patients’ rights guaranteed to millions of Americans and to put insurance companies back in charge of health decisions. This is the only hearing where parents of young children and young adults, Americans with pre-existing medical conditions, small business owners and seniors will have the opportunity to testify about the real-life effects of undoing critical patient protections.
Testifying will be:
Vernal Branch – From Richmond, Virginia, Vernal is a fifteen-year survivor of breast cancer who has struggled to find health insurance, been denied by health insurance companies, and gone without coverage altogether at different times in her life. Vernal is thankful that the new and strong patients’ rights ensure that, beginning in 2014, she and other breast cancer survivors will never have to worry about being rejected by health insurance companies again.
Lori Bresnan – From Ballwin, Missouri, Lori is a mother of a 22-year old college student who was due to age out of his insurance plan at 23. Lori voiced her concerns about her son losing coverage, a story that is heard daily from parents around the country. Because her son is a celiac patient with many allergies that need to be constantly monitored, Ms. Bresnan is very thankful that her son can now be covered up to age 26 under his parents’ plan.
Ed Burke – From Palm Harbor, Florida, despite having access to health insurance through his large employer, Ed’s hemophilia and the high cost of treating it has left him perpetually worried about hitting the lifetime cap for his care ($5 million). Ed is relieved that current patient protections in the law prohibit health insurance companies from imposing lifetime caps, and Ed is now protected from being denied treatment for his hemophilia because of a cap.
Dr. Odette Cohen – From Willingboro, New Jersey, Dr. Cohen runs a small practice, Son Light Pediatrics. Due to the tax credits her business will be receiving for offering her employees health coverage, she’ll also be able to hire another nurse practitioner, which means she’ll be seeing more patients, growing her business and the economy, and keeping more of New Jersey’s children healthy.
Alexander Lataille – From Rhode Island, Alexander, like many students from the 2010 graduating class, hasn’t been able to find a job that offers benefits. Fortunately, due to the new and strong patients’ rights, he is still covered on his parent’s insurance. If his rights are repealed, he will have to go without insurance until he is able to finally find a job that offers health coverage.
Claudette Therriault – From Sabbattus, Maine, Ms. Therriault and her husband represent the story of how millions of seniors are now achieving significant savings on the cost of their prescription drugs after falling into the donut hole and paying large sums last year. In addition, Claudette and her husband had put off life saving preventive care, until this year. They oppose efforts to repeal these protections that make such preventive and wellness practices more accessible.
Stacie Ritter – Stacie is a resident of Lancaster, Pennsylvania and a mother of twin daughters, now 11, who were diagnosed with leukemia when they were 4 years old. Stacie has always worried about her daughters’ health and having health insurance to cover the stem cell transplants and other cancer treatments. The twins survived, but the glands controlling their growth were damaged. Because of strong patient protections passed into law, Stacie will no longer have to worry about her children being denied coverage due to their pre-existing conditions or having to face a mountain of debt because there are now no lifetime caps.
Leader Pelosi on the hearing:
Americans want Congress to focus on creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and reducing the deficit, not the Republican plan to repeal patients’ rights and hand power over our health decisions back to insurance companies. This is the one and only hearing scheduled in Congress where Americans already benefiting from patients’ rights can have their voices heard before the Republican planned repeal vote.