As the number of positive COVID-19 cases rise in Pennsylvania and as we enter flu season, protecting the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and ensuring that all Pennsylvanians have access to health coverage are more important than ever, Governor Tom Wolf said in Chester County. The governor was joined by local elected officials and representatives from local health care organizations.
“Pennsylvanians have a right to affordable and accessible health care, and I have always made it a priority to uphold that right. But good health care is even more important heading into flu season, in the middle of a pandemic, while cases of COVID-19 are starting to slowly rise again,” Gov. Wolf said. “When Pennsylvanians are unable to afford health care coverage, it puts their lives and health at risk, and without the health care coverage the ACA provides, Pennsylvanians may not be able to seek the preventive care that protects them and minimizes their vulnerability to more serious threats to their health, such as COVID.”
The ACA provides health care to more than 1 million Pennsylvanians. Pennsylvanians with pre-existing conditions are only guaranteed coverage due to provisions in the ACA, and they are at greater risk to contract COVID-19. COVID-19 has also been shown to have long-term negative effects on the health of some COVID patients, which could result in additional Pennsylvanians with chronic, pre-existing conditions in the wake of this pandemic.
COVID-19 could well become a pre-existing condition for a portion of the 7.8 million Americans who have contracted it. A repeal of the ACA is cruel and unacceptable at any time, but especially during a pandemic and start of the flu season.
“I’m honored Governor Wolf was able to join us in New Garden Township today to talk about affordable and accessible healthcare. Our families currently have a lot on their plates, but access to healthcare should not be one of their concerns,” said state Rep. Christina Sappey (D-Chester). “We should be doing everything we can to remove barriers and to promote good health. Healthy communities are strong communities.”
“In the face of ongoing uncertainty in the fight against COVID-19 and the beginning of our economic recovery, Pennsylvanians and families deserve to know they can count on their health care,” said state Sen. Andy Dinniman (D-Chester). “The economic toll of repealing or weakening the Affordable Care Act would be significant. The human impact would be devastating. We must stand together to protect and support the ACA at the very time when Pennsylvanians need it the most.”