Health Care Voter Launches ‘Our Lives On The Line’ Digital Town Hall Series to Hold Trump and the Republicans Accountable for Failing Response to Coronavirus Pandemic

MARCH 31, 2020

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Health Care Voter Launches ‘Our Lives On The Line’ Digital Town Hall Series to Hold Trump and the Republicans Accountable for Failing Response to Coronavirus Pandemic


WASHINGTON, D.C. — This evening, Health Care Voter launched the Our Lives On The Line Digital Town Hall Series with a national conversation about how the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the weaknesses in our health care system and what Congress and the Trump administration need to do about it.

The kick off town hall featured House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Deb Haaland (D-NM), California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, Patient Advocate Sa’Ra Skipper, Center for American Progress Managing Director of Health Policy Maura Calsyn, Sister Simone Campbell, MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, and Faith in Public Life Vice President Sara Benitez.

Over the coming weeks, Our Lives On The Line will elevate the voices of patients and advocates who are demanding accountability from the White House and Republican lawmakers during this coronavirus crisis. The digital town hall series will consist of an additional national and eight state-focused Facebook live town halls, featuring members of Congress, governors, local elected officials, advocates, and the medical professionals who are putting their lives on the line to fight the pandemic.

Health Care Voter will hold nine more town halls throughout April:


Some highlights from the town hall below: 

“Tonight, we launched the ‘Our Lives On The Line’ digital tour because the need for accessible and affordable health care for every single American has never been more critical,” said Health Care Voter Campaign Director Rosemary Enobakhare. “For years, President Trump and the Republicans have undermined health care access and the dire coronavirus pandemic is evidence of the threat their attacks pose to the health of our nation.”


“Health care is always a life or death issue for our nation, now even more so. The lives and livelihoods of the American people are at stake. As you say, our lives are on the line,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “We need your help to demand accountability from the administration to put workers and families first.”


“With the coronavirus pandemic upon us, we must do all we can to ensure every American can access quality and affordable health care,” said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra. “The attempt by the Trump administration and Texas to destroy the Affordable Care Act is more dangerous than ever. We’re committed to protecting this life-saving law at the Supreme Court, and with it, the lives of our loved ones.”


“Everyone deserves to see a doctor when they’re sick and to have access to life saving medications, but with the all-time record jump in unemployment claims reported last week, health insurance and access to care is at risk for millions of people,” said Rep. Deb Haaland. “Instead of prioritizing people who are struggling to make ends meet right now, the president, Mitch McConnell and their friends in the Senate are busy creating corporate slush funds for CEOs and ripping health care away from millions of people by dismantling the ACA. We’re here to tell them: We won’t stand for it any longer. My colleagues in the House and I will continue fighting hard for people to have ongoing relief, bolstered health care, and paid leave because the health of our families depend on it.”


“We demand that every relief package, every emergency fund, every piece of legislation at the city, state, and federal level that shapes our response and recovery from this crisis, must center working people and our families and communities,” said Mary Kay Henry, President, Service Employees International Union (SEIU). “That starts with fully funded and accessible health care for everyone in America, no exceptions.”


“Without the Affordable Care Act, people with pre-existing conditions like myself, elderly people, low-income people are more susceptible to the virus,” said Sa’Ra Skipper, patient advocate. “Also, without the Affordable Care Act, I probably wouldn’t be here today.”


“At the start of this month, after the first death as a result of COVID-19 here in the United States, Trump again said he wants to terminate the ACA because it’s ‘bad.’ That was an outrageous statement in 2016 and it is even more unthinkable today,” said Maura Calsyn, Center for American Progress Managing Director of Health Policy. “They have failed to protect health care for Americans for the past three years. This continuing attack on the ACA, especially right now, is an attack on the health and safety of all of us who benefit from the law.”


“Health care, caring for those most in need — our lives on the line — has become more about a business and how much profit you make,” said Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK. “When you see our President calling out that we’ve got to start the economy because the economy is more important than our people who are dying, we know that our moral values are a bit turned on their heads.”


“Families are hurting, moms are scared,” said Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director, MomsRising. “We are angry not only that the Trump Administration wasted precious time at the onset of this crisis — even at one point using the word hoax — which we know is absolutely not true, but that our health care system has been weakened by relentless attacks from his administration and Senate Republicans putting us all at risk.”


“During this time and after, we need to work towards health care for everybody, really making sure Congress holds pharmaceutical companies accountable,” said Sara Benitez, Vice-President of Organizing and Campaigns at Faith in Public Life. “When they produce a coronavirus vaccine, that everyone who needs it, people like me, can afford it and access it, and people who don’t have health insurance and who are not in the system, like immigrant families and children in detention centers, people in prison. It’s going to be so important. We have to keep working to make sure that is possible.”