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Senator Hassan Held a Virtual Roundtable with Granite Staters to Discuss the Importance of Preserving the Affordable Care Act

NEW HAMPSHIRE – In case you missed it, U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan hosted a virtual roundtable last week with Granite Staters on the importance of protecting the Affordable Care Act as Senate Republicans rush to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in an effort to repeal the law. The Senator spoke with Granite Staters about what repealing the Affordable Care Act would mean for their families or their communities, including the loss of its protections for millions of people with pre-existing conditions.


See below for coverage highlights:


Monadnock Ledger-Transcript: Residents speak to importance of ACA in Hassan round-table

By Ashley Saari


Senator Maggie Hassan spoke with a round table of residents on Monday to hear their stories about how access to health care through the Affordable Care Act has benefited their lives, and hear their fears about what happens if the ACA is repealed.


“At the end of the day, everybody needs to get health care, and they need to get health care regardless of their pre-existing conditions,” Hassan said during the round table, which took place over the video-conference calling platform Zoom.


The Affordable Care Act is scheduled to be before the Supreme Court following the November elections, to undergo a challenge to its constitutionality. Residents of the state said they didn’t know what their recourse would be if the court finds that the law is not constitutional, and they are potentially left without insurance.


[…] Tension is particularly high with confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett, a conservative who has been critical of the ACA in the past, currently ongoing.


[…]  Hassan referred to the most recent challenge of the ACA as a “last-ditch effort” to repeal the law, which has been a stated goal of some Republican legislators, including President Donald Trump.


Those who attended Hassan’s roundtable Monday who rely on insurance through the Affordable Care Act said they are very concerned about the future of their health care.


Zandra Rice Hawkins, a founding Executive Director of Granite State Progress, noted that over 100,000 people in New Hampshire could lose insurance without the Affordable Care Act. About 44,000 people purchase their insurance through the marketplace in the state, she said and the remainder were included in an expansion of Medicaid coverage included in the plan.


[…] Mary Osborne, who herself has pre-existing health conditions and a son on the autism spectrum, said she worries constantly for the health of the community, and the ability for people like her family to access health care.


“We belong in society. We are not throwaways,” she said.


[…] The panel agreed that the Affordable Care Act was not perfect, and several said purchasing insurance and comparing plans needs to be streamlined, but still advocated for keeping the law and strengthening and adjusting it, rather than eliminating it. Residents also called for lower prescription drug prices, particularly for “maintenance” medications which need to be taken long-term or for a lifetime, and more clarity in which procedures are and are not covered under insurance plans to reduce “surprise” medical bills.


Caledonian Record: Concerns Voiced Over ACA Repeal

By Paul Hayes


The repeal of the Affordable Care Act would devastate the North Country.


That was the opinion of Ed Shanshala, chief executive officer of Ammonoosuc Community Health Care, during a roundtable talk hosted by Sen. Maggie Hassan on Tuesday.


Insurance provided through the ACA covers Ammonoosuc Community Health Care’s 100 employees and many of its 11,000 patients in 26 communities across northern New Hampshire


Without it, Shanshala said, health care will be unaffordable for many low-income residents, including those impacted by pre-existing conditions, COVID unemployment, and the opioid epidemic.


[…] Hassan hosted the roundtable talk as Congress began the Supreme Court confirmation process for nominee Amy Coney Barrett.


Democrats are concerned Coney Barrett will vote to strike down the ACA, signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2010.


A lawsuit to end “Obamacare” goes before the Supreme Court on Nov. 10, one week after the general election.


More than 100,000 New Hampshire residents, including most of the 44,000 covered under Medicaid expansion, would lose health care coverage if the ACA is repealed.


[…] Hassan called healthcare a human right and said in a democracy everybody deserved access to affordable healthcare — particularly during the pandemic.


“Repealing the protections in the Affordable Care Act would be bad enough in any circumstance but here we are in the middle of a pandemic and it would be truly devastating to repeal those protections now as almost eight million Americans have contracted COVID-19, which will become a preexisting condition for insurers.” she said.