Chris Pappas, Health Care Leaders Highlight What’s at Stake for New Hampshire’s Health Care in 2020 Election
Concord, NH – This afternoon Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in the Granite State to highlight the ongoing war on health care and failed local and federal coronavirus response. Headlined by Congressman Chris Pappas, the event highlighted how Donald Trump’s health care sabotage, including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Granite Staters’ care. On the call were Kristin Urquiza, whose father died of COVID-19 and who spoke at the DNC; Dr. Marie Ramas, family physician in Nashua; Laina Reavis, Project Manager, Peer Recovery Supports Services, Harbor Care; and Carrie Martin-Duran, a single mom from Wolfeboro.
According to Rep. Chris Pappas, "We cannot afford to let the effort to dismantle the Affordable Care Act succeed, especially when we're in the middle of a pandemic," said Congressman Chris Pappas. “Our health care is not a political football. There are 572,000 thousand Granite Staters living with pre-existing conditions and thousands more who enjoy protections and coverage through the ACA. We need to move beyond the continual effort to sabotage Americans’ health care and work together to expand access to care and lower costs for everyone."
“Chris Pappas has been a leader in passing legislation to provide coronavirus relief, lower the costs of prescription drugs, make healthcare more affordable and strengthen protections for American’s with pre-existing conditions,” said Jayme Simoes, Protect Our Care NH chair.
Kristin Urquiza, who spoke at the DNC, shared her story of loss: "My dad was a healthy 65-year-old. His only preexisting condition was trusting Donald Trump, and for that he paid with his life. Donald Trump may not have caused the coronavirus, but his dishonesty and his irresponsible actions made it so much worse. We need a leader who has a national, coordinated, data-driven response to stop this pandemic from claiming more lives and to safely reopen the country."
Dr. Marie-Elizabeth Ramas, M.D., a family physician activist with almost a decade of experience practicing full scope family medicine with obstetrics in Nashua, said, ”As a family doctor providing care for people who suffer from substance use disorder, the sting of coronavirus hits on multiple levels. I worry not only for acute issues in the midst of this pandemic, however. I worry also of the chronic consequences of COVID to the survivors, which will count as pre-existing conditions if the ACA is overturned. I worry about the preventive care that will no longer be free or at a minimal cost to my working families. I worry about my rural patients who will be unable to receive affordable medications, and a return to over utilization of emergency room services due to acute and uncontrolled chronic health conditions. I worry about the lack of accountability and incentive to health systems for quality of care, rather than how many patients can be churned through and billed.”
Carrie Duran, a single mom from Wolfeboro, has three daughters, the youngest of which has Down syndrome. Due to her caregiving needs, Carrie has worked part-time positions, but none that offered her healthcare. She currently is a Medicaid recipient and spoke to how Medicaid expansion has supported her and provided a safety net for her, saying, “After my daughter Katie was born, my career as a family advocate began the moment I became a single mother, and my role as an advocate for the elderly began the moment my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. You become an advocate when you must fight for your family or a loved one. You become an advocate when you share your personal story to educate lawmakers. You become an advocate when you realize you have a strong voice and can speak up for others. “
Laina Reavis, a Granite Stater in long-term recovery from substance use disorder and Project Manager with Peer Recovery Supports Services at Harbor Care, said, “New Hampshire’s insufficient funding of treatment and recovery supports, rural context, and a lack of economic opportunity in many communities has contributed to an increase in substance misuse and dependency, which indicates a resultant need to increase New Hampshire’s low rate of spending on treatment capacity, recovery support, and prevention in the state.”
Simoes concluded by saying, “At a time when more than 200,0000 Americans have died from coronavirus, including some 438 here in New Hampshire, your health care is on the ballot. We must vote as if our lives depend on it, because they do.”
The Protect Our Care “Your Health, Your Vote” virtual bus tour is making stops in:
Pennsylvania on Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Wisconsin on Thursday, September 17, 2020
Minnesota on Monday, September 21, 2020
Michigan on Tuesday, September 22, 2020
New Hampshire on Thursday, September 24, 2020
Maine on Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Iowa on Thursday, October 1, 2020
Arizona on Tuesday, October 6, 2020
Montana on Thursday, October 8, 2020
Colorado on Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Nevada on Thursday, October 15, 2020
North Carolina on Monday, October 19, 2020
Georgia on Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Florida on Thursday, October 22, 2020