Rep. Katie Porter Discusses the Heathcare Cost Crisis | LIVE | NowThis


>>>THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE AND THINK YOU TO OUR HOSTS FOR OPENING THEIR HOME TODAY. I AM A JULIE TAFT A LOCAL ORGANIZER AND I’M VERY EXCITED TO BE HERE TODAY TO HAVE A CONVERSATION ABOUT HEALTHCARE WITH CONGRESSWOMAN KATIE PORTER. WE ARE ALL AFFECTED BY HEALTH CARE WHETHER IT’S THE COST OF OUR PREMIUMS OR MEDICATIONS OR ABILITY TO FIND AND GET IN WITH A SPECIALIST IF WE NEED ONE. SO THAT IS WHY I AM ESPECIALLY PROUD AND HONORED TO BE HERE WITH OUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS WHO HAS BEEN FIGHTING VERY HARD SINCE DAY ONE ON BEHALF OF US, HER CONSIST, ON MANY ISSUES INCLUDING THE AFFORDABILITY AND ACCESSIBILITY OF HEALTH CARE. I WILL TURN INTO YOU CONGRESSWOMAN PORTER WITH AN OPENING STATEMENT AND WE WILL START TALKING.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. HEALTHCARE IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUES IN OUR AREA AND IN THE COUNTRY. I HAVE HAD OVER 12 TOWN HALLS IN THE 45th DISTRICT AND THIS IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE THAT COMES UP. IT IS DEEPLY PERSONAL FOR ALL OF US US BECAUSE WE CARE ABOUT THE WELL-BEING OF OUR KIDS AND OUR PARENTS. AND WE WANT TO TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES SO WE CAN ENJOY OUR LIVES. I HAVE BEEN WORKING HARD IN CONGRESS FOCUSING ON SOME KEY PRIORITIES AT. TOP OF THE ORDER MOST IMPORTANT THING REDUCING THE PRICE OF PRESCRIPTION DRUGS. WE HAVE PASSED AND THE HOUSE HR THREE THE LOWERING PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS NOW BILL. IT WOULD HELP THOSE WITH MEDICARE AND MEDICAID TO NEGOTIATE DRUG PRICES AND ALSO IMPORTANTLY ALLOW THOSE WITH PRIVATE INSURANCE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THOSE REDUCED DRUG COSTS. I HAVE ALSO WORKED ON ACCESSIBILITY AND AFFORDABILITY OF MENTAL HEALTH CARE. THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT PROMISED PARITY BETWEEN MENTAL HEALTH AND PHYSICAL HEALTH AND GET ANYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT HAS TRIED TO OBTAIN MENTAL HEALTH CARE KNOWS THAT WE FACE A SHORTAGE OF PROVIDERS, DIFFICULTY WITH REIMBURSEMENT RATES, AND LONG BATTLES WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES TO GET COVERAGE. WE ARE LUCKY IN THE 45th DISTRICT TO HAVE HIGH-QUALITY HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS. WE HAVE WONDERFUL RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS AND WONDERFUL HOSPITALS AND DOCTORS AND NETWORKS AND NURSES AND A GREAT THIEM OF PROVIDERS. BUT THEY ARE STRUGGLING TO GET CARE TO US AND WE ARE STRUGGLING TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE GREAT HEALTHCARE. I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO BE HERE TODAY TO HEAR YOUR STORIES AND BE ABLE TO SHARE WITH YOU WHAT WE CAN DO IN WASHINGTON TOGETHER TO BRING DOWN THE COST OF HEALTHCARE AND MAKE SURE EVERY AMERICAN HAS ACCESS TO HIGH-QUALITY AFFORDABLE TREATMENT PEER>>.>>LET’S GET STARTED. KATHLEEN DO YOU WANT TO GET STARTED FIRST.>>GOOD MORNING. I WAS SO EXCITED WHEN THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT CAME BECAUSE IT MEANT FOR ME THAT I HAVE A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION THAT I DID NOT HAVE TO BE A CAPTURED EMPLOYEE ANYMORE. IT CAME AT A GOOD TIME BECAUSE OF MY LATE HUSBAND WAS GOING THROUGH HIS FINAL PHASES OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS. WE NEEDED SOMEONE TO TAKE CARE OF HIM 24 – SEVEN. AND THEY COULD NOT AFFORD TO HIRE SOMEONE TO BE THERE WITH HIM 40 HOURS A WEEK. SO I WAS ABLE TO LEAVE MY JOB AND START SOME CONSULTING FROM HOME AND THEN CARE FOR HIM IN HIS LAST YEARS OF LIFE. AS MY COMPANY HAS GROWN NOW AND I HAVE A BUSINESS PARTNER I’M STILL WORKING AT HOME AND I’M STILL ABLE TO BUY MY OWN HEALTH CARE. I AM CONCERNED THAT PRE-EXISTING CONDITION CLAUSE AND PROTECTIONS FOR US ARE GOING TO GO AWAY AND I KEEP THINKING IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD AND I GOING O HAVE TO GO IN THE LAST EIGHT YEARS OF WORKING BEFORE MY RETIREMENT AND GET ANOTHER JOB JUST TO GET THE INSURANCE. I APPRECIATE EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING AND FIGHTING FOR US.>>THANK YOU FOR YOUR STORY AND I’M SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. ONE OF THE THING IT HIGHLIGHTS IS THAT IT’S TWO STORIES. IT’S A STORY ABOUT THE NEED TO SUPPORT FAMILIES WHO ARE PROVIDING END-OF-LIFE CARE AND THE CHALLENGES AND FINDING CARE PROVIDERS AND GETTING HOME HEALTHCARE HELP AND RECOGNIZING THE HARD WORK THAT THOSE WORKERS DO IN PROVIDING HOME HEALTHCARE. ALSO YOUR STORY ABOUT PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS IS A POWERFUL REMINDER OF THE FACT THAT IN OUR COUNTRY HEALTHCARE IS INEXTRICABLY INTERTWINED WITH ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY AND A JOB OPPORTUNITY APPEAR WE SEE SO MANY PEOPLE WHO SAY I REALLY WANT TO START MY OWN BUSINESS OR I REALLY WANT TO TAKE THOSE COUPLE OF YEARS AND STEP OUT OF THE WORKPLACE AND TO BE WITH MY CHILD OR A PARTNER AT THE END OF LIFE AND TAKE CARE OF AN AGING PARENT BUT I CAN’T BECAUSE I WON’T HAVE THE ABILITY TO GET HEALTHCARE. YOUR STORY IS A REMINDER OF WHY PROTECTIONS FOR PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS MATTER AND I AM ALL IN IN MAKING SURE THAT WE NEVER GO BACK TO THE SYSTEM THAT WE HAD OF PREVENTING PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. ONE REMINDER IS THAT PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS ARE NOT SOMETHING THAT THERE IS A FIRM DEFINITION OF. INSURANCE INSURANCE COMPANIES CONTROL WHAT IS A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION. WOMEN, PEOPLE OF COLOR, CERTAIN COMMUNITIES WHO MAY BE MORE PREDISPOSED TO HAVE CERTAIN KINDS OF DISEASES OR CONDITIONS OF. WE NEED TO ABSOLUTELY PROTECT PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. HERE IN OUR OWN DISTRICT 330 PLUS THOUSAND PEOPLE HAVE PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. IT IS A HUGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE. IT IS NOT A DOZEN OR A FEW HUNDRED OR A FEW THOUSAND IT IS HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE BENEFITED FROM THIS IMPORTANT CHANGE THAT WE MADE IN THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY I AM SORRY FOR YOU ABOUT THE LOSS OF YOUR HUSBAND BUT I AM GRATEFUL THAT YOU HAVE BEEN ABLE BECAUSE OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT TO FIND WORK THAT YOU CAN DO THAT ALLOWS YOU TO BE THERE WITH YOUR HUSBAND BUT ALSO BE ABLE TO HAVE HEALTH CARE FOR YOURSELF AND TO KEEP THE CARE GOING FORWARD AS YOUR BUSINESS GROWS.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH. I SHARE THE CONCERN ABOUT PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS AS WE ALL DO. IT WAS NOT LONG AGO THAT WAS A REAL CONCERN FOR PEOPLE. IT STILL IS FROM WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE. MY FIRSTBORN WAS ALMOST A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION AND I THINK WOMEN ARE PARTICULARLY AFFECTED BY THAT POLICY. LETICIA DO YOU WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORY.>>SPEAKING OF WOMEN BEING ADVERSELY IMPACTED BY HEALTHCARE YEARS AGO I WAS GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE AND IT REALLY GRAPPLED WITH THINKING ABOUT LEAVING OR MOVING BECAUSE MY HEALTH INSURANCE WAS TIED TO MY JOB OF COURSE AND JUST THINKING ABOUT BEING A SINGLE PARENT AND HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD I DID NOT THINK I COULD AFFORD TO LOSE MY HEALTH INSURANCE BEING PRIMARILY IN CHARGE OF THE CARE OF MY CHILDREN. SO, I WANT TO KNOW – I AM SOMEONE WHO HAS A COLLEGE DEGREE AND I KNEW I WOULD EVENTUALLY GET ON MY FEET AND FIND ANOTHER JOB WITH HEALTH INSURANCE BUT PEOPLE NOT LIKE ME WHO ARE REALLY TIED TO HEALTH INSURANCE AND MAINTAINING STABLE EMPLOYMENT I RORY ABOUT THOSE AND ACCESSIBLE AFFORDABLE QUALITY HEALTH CARE THAT’S NOT DIRECTLY TIED TO EMPLOYMENT. I AM WANTING TO MAKE SURE THAT ANY CHANGES THAT WE SEE GIVE US MORE FREEDOM TO GET ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE WITHOUT DIRECT TIES TO EMPLOYMENT.>>>>LETICIA AND I HAVE IN COMMON THAT WE ARE BOTH SINGLE MOTHERS OF YOUNG KIDS AND IN ELECTED OFFICE. IT’S A SMALL CLUB. YOU ARE LOOKING AT A BIG CHUNK OF THE CLUB NATIONALLY HERE. I TOO WENT THROUGH A DIVORCE AND THIS WAS A CHALLENGE IN MY DIVORCE AND IT’S A CHALLENGE IN MANY PEOPLE’S LIVES. IT’S A CHALLENGE FOR KIDS WHO WANT TO MOVE OUT AND GET ON WITH THEIR LIVES AND PARENTS WHO WANT THEIR COUCHES BACK BUT THE CHILDREN ARE WORRIED ABOUT WHETHER THEY CAN GET EMPLOYMENT WITH HEALTH CARE. WE DO SEE THE WAY IN WHICH THIS LEAVES PEOPLE AND SITUATIONS AND SOMETIMES ABUSIVE SITUATIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE WORRIED ABOUT FINDING HEALTHCARE IF THEY LEAVE THEIR PARTNER. AT BECAUSE IT’S TIED TO EMPLOYMENT THOSE WHO ARE MARRIED IN A COUPLE OR PARTNERSHIP THEY ESSENTIALLY HAVE TWO OPTIONS FOR HEALTHCARE. THEY CAN GET IT FOR THEMSELVES OR THEY CAN GET IT TO THEIR PARTNER. IF YOU ARE A SINGLE PARENT IT’S ON YOU. SINGLE PARENTS ARE ALSO MORE LIKELY TO EXPERIENCE JOB INSTABILITY AND CHANGES IN EMPLOYMENT AND HAVING TO TAKE TIME OUT OF THE WORKPLACE TO CARE FOR KIDS. IS A DOUBLE DOWN ON THAT PHENOMENON WHICH MAKES HAVING THE BACK STOP OF BEING ABLE TO GO INTO THE INSURANCE MARKETPLACE WITH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND GET THE INSURANCE COVERAGE. IT’S ECONOMICALLY TOUGH TO BE A SINGLE PARENT WHICH IS WHY THE COST OF HEALTHCARE IS SO IMPORTANT. ONE OF THE DEBATES THAT WE HAVE IS THAT WE ALL UNDERSTAND THE WAY THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT EXPANDED ACCESS TO COVERAGE AND WE CHAMPION THAT. WE CELEBRATE THAT IT PROTECTS PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. IT DOES GIVE SOMEONE LIKE YOU AN OPTION WHEN THEY’RE CHANGING THEIR THAT DOESN’T NECESSARILY MAKE IT AFFORDABLE. THAT’S THE HURDLE WE NEED TO SQUARELY OWN AS WE TALK ABOUT HOW WE IMPROVE ON HOW WE LIVE OFF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. IT DID NOT ACCOMPLISH EVERYTHING WE WANTED TO AND THERE IS MORE WORK TO BE DONE INCLUDING THE AFFORDABILITY PIECE.>>MY MOTHER DIED OF OVARIAN CANCER AND AS A RESULT OF MY SISTERS HAD MANY MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES INVOLVING ANOREXIA AND BULIMIA OVER THE YEARS. MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE IS ALSO A PROBLEM. EVEN THOUGH WE HAVE MENTAL HEALTH PARITY WHAT DO WE DO TO MAKE SURE HE ACTUALLY HAVE IT. IT’S A BIG ISSUE BEYOND THE ISSUE OF PRE-EXISTING CONDITION AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT WE SORT OF A DRESSED THE ACA. IT’S A BIG PROBLEM.>>ONE OF THE BIG THINGS I USED TO LIKE TO SAY I THINK IT’S APT IS IT’S A CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWYER IT DOESN’T DO ANY GOOD TO HAVE A RIGHT THAT DOES NOT EXIST IN REALITY. THIS IS WHERE WE ARE WITH MENTAL HEALTH COVERAGE. WE HAVE A RIGHT TO MENTAL HEALTH PARITY AND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT BUT IN REALITY WE ARE TO GET MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES. THIS AFFECTS EMPLOYERS WHO STRAINED TO PLAY PREMIUMS AND THEY CHOOSE PLANS THAT HAVE MENTAL HEALTH COVERAGE. EMPLOYERS HAVE TOLD THEM THIS IS IMPORTANT. WE NEED THIS FOR OUR FAMILY AND TO BE AN EMPLOYEE. WHAT THEY HEAR BACK IS THAT WHEN THEY GO TO GET MENTAL HEALTH COVERAGE THERE ARE NO PROVIDERS APPEAR THE PROVIDERS ARE NOT TAKING ANY NEW PATIENTS. THE WAITLIST IS THREE TO SIX MONTHS AND BY THE WAY EVERYONE IS OUT OF NETWORK. WHAT WE SEE IS PEOPLE WHO ARE SHOPPING FOR HEALTHCARE PLANS TRYING TO BE GOOD CONSUMERS TRYING TO CHOOSE A PLAN THAT WILL PROVIDE THE MENTAL HEALTH COVERAGE BUT WHEN THEY GO TO GET THE BENEFITS THERE ARE NONE. THIS IS AN ISSUE THAT IS ABOUT HOW WE COMPENSATE MENTAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS THAT WE RECOGNIZE THE WORK THAT THEY DO AND THE COST SAVING WORK AND THE LIFESAVING WORK THAT THEY DO. IT’S AN ISSUE ABOUT HOW WE POLICE INSURANCE COMPANIES AND SO I HAVE A BILL CALLED THE MENTAL HEALTH PARITY COMPLIANCE ACT. IT’S A BIPARTISAN BILL AND I’M PLEASED WE HAVE BIPARTISAN COOPERATION ON THIS ISSUE. WHAT IT WOULD DO IS MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE AUDITING INSURANCE COMPANIES SO THAT WHEN THEY SAY THEY HAVE MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS IN THEIR NETWORK THAT THEY ACTUALLY DO. IT WOULD DIRECT THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO CONDUCT THOSE AUDITS AND MAKE SURE THAT NETWORK COVERAGE FOR MENTAL HEALTH IS SOME FOLKS FROM FROM THE COUNTY PROVIDING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES TO TALK ABOUT THE NEED TO ALSO TRAIN ADDITIONAL PROVIDERS IN THIS AREA. MAKING SURE WE HAVE ENOUGH PROVIDERS AND REIMBURSING THE PROVIDERS SUCH THAT THEY TAKE INSURANCE BECAUSE THAT IS A REAL CHALLENGE. THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE WHEN THERE IS A MENTAL HEALTH PROBLEM AND YOUR FAMILY NO MATTER HOW GOOD YOUR INSURANCE IS THAT YOU WILL FACE OUT-OF-POCKET COSTS FOR THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS AND A SOMEWHAT IRONICALLY IF THAT LOVED ONE ENDS UP INPATIENT HOSPITAL UNIT THAT WILL STEP IN BUT THEY WEREN’T WILLING TO PAY TO GET THAT OUT OF — OUTPATIENT CARE. WE ARE LUCKY AT THE CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL THAT THEY HAVE AN INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT PROGRAM. IT’S WONDERFUL. IT’S INCREDIBLY EFFECTIVE. THERE IS A PARTIAL INPATIENT PROGRAM WHERE TEENAGERS ARE THERE FOR PART OF THE DAY AND THEN THEY GO BACK HOME IN THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING. IT’S AN INTEGRATED CARE DESIGNED TO PROVIDE THE BRIDGE AND THE TRANSITION TO KEEP PEOPLE FROM HAVING TO BE ADMITTED. INSURANCE COMPANIES WON’T COVER THOSE KINDS OF CARE. THAT IS NOT PARITY.>>DOCTOR BELL DID YOU WANT TO JUMP IN.>>I’M RECENTLY RETIRED AFTER 35 PLUS YEARS OF A CAREER IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT — AS A MEDICINE IN IN ORANGE COUNTY THAT I PRACTICE. MY CONCERN IS I’M HAPPY YOU’RE WORKING ON MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. WHERE THE COURT OF LAST RESULT. THAT’S HER PEOPLE PEOPLE WITH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES WERE NOT BEING ADDRESSED THROUGH THE SYSTEM OTHERWISE. BUT I HAVE EVEN MORE CONCERNED ABOUT PEOPLE WHO ARE STILL YET UNINSURED AT AND OUR INNER ERS. I CAN TELL YOU DAILY OR NIGHTLY BECAUSE I WORK NIGHT SHIFTS THAT PEOPLE WOULD SHOW UP WITH A ATTACKS AND STROKES AND HE WOULD HAVE TO WONDER WHERE THEY GETTING THE PREVENTATIVE CARE THAT THEY NEEDED TO AVOID THOSE CONDITIONS. PEOPLE WITH UNTREATED DENTAL INFECTIONS WERE SHOWING UP WITH LIFE-THREATENING INFECTIONS. I HAVE TO TELL YOU IT’S STILL AN EMBARRASSMENT TO ME THAT THEY WOULD I WOULD PROPOSE A TASK OR TREATMENT AND NEXT THING I KNEW THEY WERE WALKING OUT BECAUSE THEY KNEW THEY COULD NOT AFFORD IT. WHAT CAN WE DO STILL TO GET ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE CARE THAT THEY NEEDED.>>THIS GOES TO TWO POINTS. ONE IS ABOUT EXPANDING COVERAGE AND WHETHER WE DO THAT TOWARD MOVING TOWARD MEDICARE FOR ALL OR THE REMAINING PEOPLE WHO DID NOT GET PICKED UP. PART OF THAT IS MEDICAID EXPANSION IN THE STATES. WE ARE SEEING SOME RED STATES THAT WILL UNDERSTAND MEDICAID EXPANSION WITH THAT BUT IT’S ALSO ABOUT AFFORDABILITY. YOUR POINT ABOUT BEING UNDERINSURED IS ONE I WANT TO PICK UP ON THE. SO AS A CONSUMER ADVOCATE I READ THE FINE PRINT. I TRY TO LOOK AT THE CO-PAYS AND TRY TO THINK ABOUT IT. I HAVE GOOD INSURANCE AND MY PRIOR EMPLOYER. I HAVE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT INSURANCE NOW AS. WE HAVE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT INSURANCE. I REALLY SHOPPED FOR A PLAN WHEN I BECAME A MEMBER OF CONGRESS. I WAS GIVEN 64 CHOICES WHICH WAS OVERWHELMING. I SPENT TIME TRYING – I THOUGHT I FOUND THE RIGHT PLAN FOR MY FAMILY, FOR MY THREE KIDS BEING THEY WERE GOING TO LIVE HERE AND I WAS FLYING BACK AND FORTH AND FACTORING IN DIFFERENT MEDICATIONS AND WHAT IS COVERED AND DIFFERENT PROVIDERS AND IS MY KIDS PEDIATRICIAN AND NETWORK I GOT TO THE END WHERE I ALMOST SIGNED UP AND THEN I NOTICED THAT THE UT OF NETWORK DEDUCTIBLE WAS $30,000. THIS IS WHAT IS HAPPENING. LOTS OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE INSURANCE BUT THE OUT-OF-POCKET MAXIMUM IS COMPLETELY OUT OF REACH. AT — EVEN THE DEDUCTIBLE IS A STRETCH FOR A LOT OF FAMILIES. IF YOU HAVE A HEALTHCARE WITH A $2,000 OR 3,000-DOLLAR OR 4,000-DOLLAR DEDUCTIBLE DO YOU HAVE THAT MONEY AT THE READY. MANY PEOPLE DON’T. I ALSO WANT TO SAY ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO DELAY TREATMENT AND WALK OUT BECAUSE THEY CANNOT AFFORD A PRESCRIPTION WE EVERY YEAR PEOPLE GET PRESCRIPTIONS AND THE DOCTOR SAYS TAKE THIS RIGHT AND THE PERSON SAYS YES AND THEY ARE THINKING I WOULD TAKE IT IF I COULD EVER AFFORD TO FILL IT BUT THEY DON’T WANT TO HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH EVEN IF THEY DO THERE ARE LIMITED THINGS THAT YOU AS A PROVIDER COULD DO IN THOSE SITUATIONS. SO THE COST OF PEOPLE DELAYING CARE OR NOT GOING IN AND GETTING TREATED ULTIMATELY WIND UP NEEDING THE MOST HIGH COST KIND OF CARE WHICH IS ER CARE AND EMERGENCY CARE AND UNTREATED CHRONIC CONDITIONS. WHETHER IT’S THE COST OF INSULIN CAUSING PEOPLE TO SHARE PRESCRIPTIONS RESULTING IN UNMANAGED DIABETES ULTIMATELY IT ENDS US COSTING US MORE AND IN SOME CASES IT PUTS PEOPLE INTO THE SITUATION OF BEING BEING PERMANENTLY OR PARTIALLY OR TEMPORARILY DISABLED MEANING THEY ARE OUT OF THE WORKFORCE NEEDING SUPPORT TO MAKE ENDS MEET. WE NEED TO THINK OF HEALTHCARE AS AN INVESTMENT IN OUR COLLECTIVE COMMUNITY AND IN OUR WORKFORCE AND AN INVESTMENT IN OUR YOUNG PEOPLE AND SO THERE IS A LOT OF WAYS TO TALK ABOUT HEALTHCARE. THERE IS A MORAL IMPERATIVE TO NOT ALLOW OTHERS TO SUFFER BUT THERE ALSO A STRONG ECONOMIC ARGUMENT FOR WHY UNIVERSAL UNIVERSAL AFFORDABLE HEALTH — BY UNIVERSAL AFFORDABLE COVERAGE BECAUSE A PRESCRIPTION YOU CAN’T AFFORD IS REALLY NO PRESCRIPTION AT ALL AND I THINK THAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS A REALITY AND A LOT OF PEOPLE LIVES.>>I WANT TO SHARE MY STORY WHICH IS THAT IN 2009 WHEN I LEFT COUNTY GOVERNMENT TO START MY OWN BUSINESS I FINISHED MY COBRA AND FOUND THAT I WAS UNINSURABLE DUE TO A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION. I WAS FORTUNATE AS AN ATTORNEY TO FIND A BAR ASSOCIATON THAT HAD AN HMO THAT I COULD PAY $500 A MONTH FOR. THE FOLLOWING YEAR MY HUSBAND WENT TO UCI. BACK TO SCHOOL AND GOT INSURANCE AND WE JUMPED ON THAT PLAN AND IT WAS A GOOD THING BECAUSE I GAVE BIRTH TO TWIN GIRLS SHORTLY THERE AFTER. I DID NOT EXPECT TO BE IN THE HOSPITAL FOR OVER A MONTH AND I DID NOT EXPECT MY GIRLS TO BE IN THE NICU FOR A MONTH. BUT IT WAS GOOD THAT I WAS INSURED DOUBLE BECAUSE IT WHEN WE GOT THE FINAL MEDICAL BILLS IT WAS OVER $1 MILLION OF. AND FOR OTHER FAMILIES WHO MIGHT FIND THEMSELVES WITH THEIR NEWBORN CHILDREN IN THAT SITUATION OR A MOM IN THAT SITUATION THAT IS BEYOND JUST BANKRUPTING YOU THAT IS A DEBT FOR LIFE. HOW CAN WE MAKE SURE THAT THESE COSTS ARE NOT $1 MILLION TO HAVE CHILDREN IN AMERICA.>>THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY AND I’M GLAD YOUR GIRLS ARE WELL. YOUR STORY THAT YOU’RE TELLING ABOUT HEALTHCARE BANKRUPTING PEOPLE AND IT’S LONG BEFORE IT GETS TO $1 MILLION FOR MANY PEOPLE THAT IT’S BANKRUPTING. I USED TO STUDY BANKRUPTCY LAW AND HELP DO RESEARCH THAT WE RELY ON TO SHOW HOW MANY BANKRUPTCIES IN THIS COUNTRY ARE RELATED TO ILLNESS OR INJURY. ONE OF THE POINTS ABOUT IT IS YES THERE UNINSURED PEOPLE WHO WIND UP IN BANKRUPTCY BUT THE BIGGEST GROUP OF PEOPLE WITH MEDICAL BANKRUPTCIES ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE INSURANCE BUT THE INSURANCE IS INADEQUATE AND IT’S OUT-OF-POCKET MAXIMUM AND IT’S LIFETIME MAXIMUM.>>AND IT’S THINGS LIKE THAT THEY RUN INTO. THE REALITY IS NONE OF US CAN UNDERWRITE PERSONALLY. YOU CANNOT SAVE FOR A PREMATURE CHILD. THAT’S NOT SOMETHING YOU CAN SAY FOR. YOU CANNOT PUT AWAY ENOUGH PENNIES FOR LONG-TERM CANCER TREATMENT. THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF INSURANCE WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT IT’S THERE FOR THESE KINDS OF UNEXPECTED EXPENSES. ONE OF THE THINGS I’M INTERESTED IN WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR A LOT. THEY LIKE TO TAKE YOUR TEMPERATURE AND LISTEN TO YOUR HEART AND POKE AND PROD YOU. I HAVE NEVER HAD SO MANY DOCTORS APPOINTMENTS IN MY LIFE AS WHAT I WAS PREGNANT. IF YOU GO TO THE DOCTOR 20 TIMES DURING THE PREGNANCY IF YOUR DOCTOR IS ANY GOOD THAT THEY WILL FIND SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU SO ALL ALONG THE WAY THAT CREATES A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION ON TOP OF THE PREGNANCY. SO WHETHER IT’S YOU FLUNKED A TEST FOR GESTATIONAL DIABETES WHICH IS A HIGH FALSE POSITIVE EVEN IF YOU ULTIMATELY DON’T HAVE IT THOSE KINDS OF THINGS CAN BE HELD AGAINST YOU. BUT YOUR STORY ABOUT THE SIZE OF THE MEDICAL BILL AND THE NEED TO HAVE DOUBLE INSURANCE TO EVEN BEGIN TO COVER IT IS REALLY POWERFUL AND I’M GRATEFUL THAT YOUR GIRLS ARE WELL BUT THE STRESS THAT YOU AND CRAIG WENT THROUGH AT A TIME IN WHICH YOU ARE JUST TRYING TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE HEALTHY AND THAT YOUR LITTLE GIRLS THRIVE ARE AND ARE ABLE TO COME OUT OF THE HOSPITAL TO HAVE TO BE THINKING THE ENTIRE TIME ABOUT HOW ARE WE GOING TO BE PAYING FOR THIS AND WILL WE AFFORD THIS AND DEALING WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES AND THAT IS SOMETHING I HEAR FROM PROVIDERS AND PATIENTS. I DON’T WANT MY HEALTH CARE TO BE ABOUT FINE FINEPRINT. I WANT IT TO BE ABOUT WELL-BEING THAT IS SOMETHING REALLY ROUTINELY FROM PROVIDERS AND PATIENTS. IT’S A BIG CHALLENGE IN WHEN WE THINK ABOUT IMPROVING THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM GOING FORWARD.>>THIS IS SUCH A COMMON STORY. SOMETIMES I WONDER IF IT’S A LACK OF IMAGINATION. WE ARE USED TO THESE ISSUES THAT WE HAVE WITH HEALTHCARE. I THINK IT’S HARD TO IMAGINE HAVING A HEALTHCARE SYSTEM WHERE WE DID NOT HAVE TO RORY ABOUT CHANGING JOBS OR HOW BIG THE BILL IS GOING TO BE THAT WE WON’T BE ABLE I WANT TO KICK IT OVER TO BETTY VALENCIA. YOU HAD A COMMENT.>>I HAVE A STORY TO SHARE WITH YOU. I THINK ABOUT PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS AND I THINK ABOUT UNINSURED OR UNDERINSURED AND ONE OF THE THINGS I WANT TO SHARE WITH YOU IS HOW IT IMPACTS EXTENDED FAMILY. I HAVE GOOD HEALTH INSURANCE. UNFORTUNATELY MY BROTHER DID NOT HE HAD TO PASS THAT MEDICATION HE HAD TO TAKE FOR A TERMINAL ILLNESS. WITH THE ACA I FEEL LIKE HE IS GIVEN A CHANCE TO LEAVE A SUSTAINABLE LIFE. HE WAS FINALLY ABLE TO GET HIS KNEE COMPLETELY RECONSTRUCTED WHICH HE WAITED 15 YEARS FOR. HE CAN GET UP AND GO OUT AND LOOK FOR A JOB NOW. I FEAR IF WE GO END HIS LIFE ESSENTIALLY. IT IS A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH IN THESE KINDS OF INSTANCES. ALSO THE HARDSHIP OF EXTENDED FAMILIES. SO, I LOOK FORWARD TO HELPING AND WORKING IN WHATEVER MATTER. MY QUESTION IS HOW CAN I HELP AS A CONSTITUENT? WHAT CAN WE DO TO MAKE SURE WE DON’T GO BACK. THIS IS WILL IMPACT ALL OF US WHETHER WE ARE DIRECTLY WITH THE ACA OR NOT WE NEED TO MOVE FORWARD. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE MENTIONED SEEMS LIKE WE ARE PROGRESSING. I NEED TO KNOW WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP YOU TO HELP US.>>PART OF WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS SHARE YOUR STORY AND TALK ABOUT THE WAY IN WHICH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT IMPROVED YOUR BROTHER’S LIFE AND GAVE HIM THE ABILITY TO EARN AND BE INDEPENDENT AND ALLOWED YOU TO FOCUS ON YOUR LIFE. BUT PART OF IT IS ALSO EDUCATING YOURSELF ON WHERE ELECTED OFFICIAL STAND ON THIS. WE HAVE A REPUBLICAN PARTY THAT HAS VOTED REPEATEDLY AND PLEDGED REPEATEDLY TO REPEAL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND THEY HAVE OFFERED NOTHING IN RETURN. SO PEOPLE NEED TO SEE THROUGH THE FLASHY CONVERSATION AND LOOK AT WHERE THE POLICIES ARE. THE DEMOCRATS HAVE PASSED BILLS THIS YEAR TO DEFEND THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT AND PROTECT PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS AND LOWER HEALTH CARE NOW WITH THE HR THREE AND ASK YOUR REPRESENTATIVES AND FOLKS LIKE ME WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TOMORROW. I’VE TALKED ABOUT THE MENTAL HEALTH PARITY BILL I HAVE AND ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS EXCITED ABOUT WITH THE HR THEORY, THE PRESCRIPTION DRUG PRICING, WE WERE ABLE TO GET AN AMENDMENT THAT WOULD RETURN TAX DOLLARS BACK TO OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM THAT COULD BE USED FOR RESEARCH OR EDUCATION OR COVERING ADDITIONAL PEOPLE, PROVIDING DENTAL COVERAGE, ALL THOSE THINGS. BECAUSE WE WERE ABLE TO SAY IF YOU TRIPLE DIGIT PRICE INCREASES IN PHARMACEUTICALS WE WILL MAKE SURE THE MONEY IS RETURNED BACK TO THE SYSTEM. SPEAKING UP AND BUILDING AN UNDERSTANDING WE ARE ALL HEALTHCARE VOTERS IT’S AN ISSUE THAT’S PERSONAL AND WE SHOULD MAKE SURE THAT WE THINK ABOUT THAT WHEN WE GO TO CAST OUR BALLOTS.>>HEALTHCARE CARE ISSUES AFFECT ALL OF US. DISEASE IS A NONPARTISAN. SO MANY I HAVE TALKED TO IN THE COMMUNITY HAVE SHARED THAT. IT’S THE TOP CONCERN. MARIANNE, I WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM HOW YOUR FAMILY WAS AFFECTED.>>I AM JIM’S GUARDIAN AND CAREGIVER. MY BROTHER HAS CEREBRAL PALSY. HE HAS BEEN ON A FIXED INCOME OR 12 YEARS AGO GET A JOB AT DISNEYLAND. IT’S A PART-TIME JOB. IT’S MINIMUM WAGE AND HE DOESN’T GET ANY ADDITIONAL BENEFITS. AS A RESULT OF THAT JOB HE LOST A LOT OF HIS ADDITIONAL SERVICES HE WAS PRICED OUT OF HIS HOME AND HE IS WORRIED THAT IF HE LOSES THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT HE WON’T HAVE INSURANCE. WHAT CAN YOU DO FOR PEOPLE LIKE MY BROTHER. HE IS CONCERNED. THE LITTLE BIT OF MONEY THAT HE IS EARNING HAS ESSENTIALLY WITHDRAWN A LOT OF THE CARE HE IS GETTING.>>THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE AND SHARING YOUR STORY. THIS IS ONE OF THE ISSUES WE FACE. PEOPLE TRYING TO RECONFIGURE SO MANY ASPECTS OF THEIR LIFE AROUND AROUND HEALTHCARE. THIS IS SOMEONE WHO IS ABLE TO GET A JOB AND ENJOYED HIS WORK AND HE ENDED UP HAVING HIS HEALTHCARE SITUATION WORSENED WHICH PUTS HIM IN JEOPARDY OF LOSING THAT VERY JOB. WE HAVE TO REFRAME THIS CONVERSATION AROUND AN INVESTMENT IN EACH OTHER AND WHAT IT MEANS TO HAVE HEALTHY LONG-TERM CONSISTENT CARE. WHAT WE HAVE PEOPLE GETTING SERVICES AND THEN LOSING SERVICES AND GETTING SERVICES AND GETTING PROVIDER AND BEING TOLD THE PROVIDERS OUT OF NETWORK ALL THAT CREATES THE GAPS IN CARE AND COVERAGE WHICH ULTIMATELY PARTICULARLY IF YOU HAVE A LONG-TERM DEGENERATIVE CONDITION MEANS THAT YOU ARE WORSENING YOUR PROSPECTS. THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY>>I WANT TO THINK A REPRESENTATIVE PARKER FOR BEING AN ADVOCATE NOT JUST FOR CONSUMERS BECAUSE AS YOU MENTIONED THAT THE HUGE PIECE OF WHAT WE ARE LOOKING AT NATIONALLY AT THIS POINT. BUT ALSO TO THOSE OF US THAT OUR PROVIDERS. I WANT TO THANK THE DOCTOR FOR YOUR FRONT LINE SERVICE AND NURSES HATS OFF TO YOU. I CAME UP THROUGH WORKING MY WAY THROUGH NURSING SCHOOL MANAGED MOVE IN AND AND TO BASICALLY MOW DOWN PRIVATE SECTOR. I WORKED AT PRIVATE SECTOR AND FEDERAL SECTOR. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAVE COME UP RECENTLY OUR INSURANCE CARVEOUTS. TODAY THERE THEIR STORIES WHERE PEOPLE AS YOU MENTIONED THE DOCTOR FINDS THINGS THAT NEED FURTHER ATTENTION, THEY GET SEEN BY A SPECIALIST, THEY GET DISCHARGE FROM THE HOSPITAL PRESUMING THEY HAVE INSURANCE THAT HAS DONE A WONDERFUL JOB COVERING THIS. EXCEPT FOR THAT PLAN DOES NOT COVER THIS PROVIDER. I AM VERY FORTUNATE AS A RETIRED REGISTERED NURSE TO HAVE A PRIVATE PLAN THAT COMES WITH THE CAUSE BUT I’VE ALSO RECENTLY BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICARE. I DELIBERATELY DECIDED TO KEEP BOTH PLANS BECAUSE I DON’T WANT TO END UP IN THAT SITUATION WHERE NOW I DON’T HAVE ANY COVERAGE. SO THIS IS A DUAL QUESTION BECAUSE WE REALLY NEED TO LOOK AT THE CARVE OUTS WE TALKED ABOUT AT THIS POINT AND TIME. BUT WE ALSO NEEDED TO TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT MOVES FORWARD. AGAIN PART OF THE REASON I HAVE.>>BOTH PLANS IS BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN A LOT OF DEBATE ABOUT KEEPING A PRIVATE PLAN, MEDICARE FOR ALL, FIXING ACA. WHERE ARE WE GOING WITH THIS.>>HAVING CONVERSATIONS LIKE THIS WE HAVE THIS DEBATE. WHEN I HEARD DOCTOR BILL TALK ABOUT WAITING FOR MONTHS AND MONTHS TO GET TREATMENT AND PEOPLE WAITING FOR 15 YEARS TO GET A KNEE REPLACEMENT. IF WE HAVE A MEDICARE FOR ALL SYSTEM WE WOULD HAVE WAIT TIMES. BETTY’S BROTHER WAITED 15 YEARS BECAUSE OF AFFORDABILITY. SO THE WAIT TIMES DON’T JUST COME FROM BUREAUCRACY. WAIT TIMES COME FROM THE LACK OF AFFORDABLE CARE. THAT’S A BIG PART OF WHAT WE HAVE THESE CONVERSATIONS ABOUT WHAT WOULD CAUSE WAIT TIMES WE HAVE TO RECOGNIZE THAT RIGHT NOW TODAY IN AMERICA PEOPLE ARE WAITING AND GOING WITHOUT HEALTHCARE AND THAT IS A FUNCTION OF THE AFFORDABILITY CRISIS THAT COMES FROM AN ADEQUATE COVERAGE FROM INSURANCE DENIALS OF CLAIMS. I MYSELF WAS SURPRISED THAT MANY OF YOU HAVE HEARD THIS STORY I GOT MY APPENDIX BURST ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL. IT REALLY HURT. IT FEELS BETTER WE WEIRDLY AFTER IT BURSTS. BUT I CHOSE TO GO TO AND IN NETWORK HOSPITAL. I KNEW WHICH HOSPITAL WAS A NETWORK. I CHOSE TO GO TO ONE. I SAW A DOCTOR AND THEY WAITED A WHILE AND I GOT TAKEN TO THE ER AT THE DOCTOR SAID NO PROBLEM I DO A MILLION OF THESE A DAY AND I START IN THE OR AND I DO A LOT OF THESE AND IT’S NO BIG DEAL. TURNED OUT IT FIRST AND THEY DID NOT KNOW THAT AND I WAS IN THE HOSPITAL FOR A WEEK. I GOT REALLY THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF ANTIBIOTICS. I WAS SHOCKED AT THE COST. WHEN I GOT OUT THE HOSPITAL BILL WAS SMALL. MY INSURANCE HAD COVERED IT. I REMEMBER PRAYING A HUGE SIGH OF RELIEF. I DREADED OPENING ENVELOPE ENVELOPE. HOW MANY OF OF YOU GET AN EXPLANATION OF BENEFITS THAT YOU DREAD OPENING. I OPENED IT AND IT WAS COVERED AND I THOUGHT O MY GOSH MY INSURANCE WORKS. AND THEN A WEEK LATER I GOT A BILL FROM THE SURGEON FOR $3,000 GIVE OR TAKE FOR THE PRE- CARE OF THE SURGERY IN THE POST OP AND THE IN-HOSPITAL CARE. HE HAD DONE A LOT OF WORK. AND ENCLOSED IN THE BILL WAS AN INSTRUCTION SHEET THAT TOLD ME HOW TO APPEAL THE DENIAL OF COVERAGE BECAUSE THAT SURGEON WAS OUT OF NETWORK EVEN THOUGH I HAD GONE TO IT — AS TO AN IN NETWORK HOSPITAL. EVEN WHEN YOU ARE IN THE OR AND THE ANESTHEIOLOGIST PREPS YOU ACCOUNTING BACK TO TEN AT – ARE YOU COVERED BY MY PLAN NINE, EIGHT. THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW. THIS SURPRISE BILLING PROBLEM IS A HUGE ONE. THE FACT THAT MY SURGEON INSTEAD OF DEDICATING HIS TIME TO THE PRACTICE OF SAVING LIVES IS SPENDING TIME HAVING AN ENTIRE DEPARTMENT OF HIS OFFICE DEDICATED TO HELPING PEOPLE BATTLE INSURANCE COMPANIES REALLY REVEALS HOW BROKEN OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IS. YOU KNOW AS A NURSE WHEN YOU GO INTO TAKE PATIENTS TO TEMPERATURES OR CHECK THEIR VITALS THEY WILL OFTEN ASK YOU ABOUT THE BILL. HOW MUCH WILL THIS COST. DO I REALLY NEED THAT. THEY ARE JUST WORRIED ABOUT IT THE ENTIRE TIME THERE IN THE HOSPITAL AND THE ENTIRE PERIOD OF OUT OF THE HOSPITAL RECOVERY.>>THERE ARE SO MANY ISSUES. IT’S GREAT TO HAVE THIS CONVERSATION. DEANNA, DO YOU WANT TO JUMP IN REVISE?>>TO TRANSLATE FOR HER MY NAME IS DEANNA NEWFIELD AND I’M AN IMMIGRANT FROM GUATEMALA. I’M A SINGLE MOTHER OF THREE CHILDREN. I LIVE AND WORK IN THE CITY OF IRVINE AND I HAVE A MEDI-CAL. AND CURRENTLY HAVING ISSUES WITH MY 13-YEAR-OLD SON WHO HAS MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES. MY QUESTION TO YOU CONGRESSWOMAN , IS HOW COULD YOU HELP MAKE SURE THAT MENTAL HEALTH AND MEDICAL ACCESS IS AVAILABLE TO SOMEONE LIKE ME?>>THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY. I’VE TALKED ABOUT THE NEED FOR PEDIATRIC MENTAL HEALTH COVERAGE LET ME TELL YOU WHERE WE SIT HERE TODAY IN ORANGE COUNTY. WE ARE ONE OF THE TEN LARGEST COUNTIES BY POPULATION IN THE UNITED STATES. YET, UNTIL A YEAR AGO IF SOMEONE LIKE YOUR SON WHEN HE WAS 12 YEARS OLD HAD A MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS AND NEEDED ACUTE CARE IS ONLY OPTIONS FOR TREATMENT WERE SAN DIEGO OR UCLA. THERE WAS NO INPATIENT CARE NO INPATIENT CARE AVAILABLE IN ORANGE COUNTY. IT HAS EXPANDED BUT THEY WILL TELL YOU THAT THEY SPEND A LOT OF THEIR TIME FIGHTING WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES. THE PARTIAL OUTPATIENT PROGRAM AND INTENSIVE OUTPATIENT PROGRAM ARE NOT COVERED BY MEDI-CAL AND SO THAT IS SOMETHING WE NEED TO BE IN CONVERSATION WITH OUR STATE PARTNERS. MEDI-CAL IS A BLOCK GRANT PROGRAM. THE FEDERAL GRANT MAKES A BLOCK GRANT TO EACH STATE TO PROVIDE MEDICAID SERVICES. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ALSO HAS TO HOLD STATES ACCOUNTABLE MAKING SURE THAT WHEN STATES DESIGN AND ADMINISTER THEIR MEDICAID PROGRAMS THAT THEY ARE DOING RIGHT BY PATIENTS WITH MENTAL HEALTH CONDITIONS. THAT THEY ARE. THAT THEY ARE NOT DECIDING MEDICAID PROGRAMS THAT ESSENTIALLY LEADS PEOPLE WITH MINIMAL COVERAGE. THIS IS A FEDERAL STATE PARTNERSHIP IN TERMS OF MAKING SURE THAT THE STATE IS FULLY FUNDING MEDI-CAL IN A WAY THAT YOU ARE GETTING THE COVERAGE THAT YOU NEED. THERE IS A ROLE FOR THE FEDERAL MEDICAID PROGRAMS BUT ALSO TO MAKE SURE THAT STATES ARE DOING RIGHT BY PATIENTS AND HOW THEY DELIVER THEM.>>NANCY, DO YOU WANT TO JUMP IN OUR TIME IS GETTING SHORT SO I WANT TO MAKE SURE WE HEAR FROM EVERYONE WHO WANTS TO SHARE.>>TO MAKE THIS BRIEF, AND 2009 WE HAD GREAT INSURANCE BUT THEN WHEN OUR DAUGHTER TURNED 18 AND GRADUATED FROM HIGH SCHOOL SHE WAS NO LONGER ELIGIBLE TO CONTINUE ON OUR COVERAGE BECAUSE SHE COULD NOT KEEP UP WITH A 12 HOURS OF FULL-TIME COURSEWORK. CONSEQUENTLY SHE FAILED CLASSES AND IT BOOMERANG INTO A WHOLE BUNCH OF THINGS WHERE WE HAD TO BUY REALLY EXPENSIVE INSURANCE AND WERE JUST SORT OF HANGING ON UNTIL THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT CAME. THAT REALLY WAS A SAVIOR FOR HER AND FOR US IN TERMS OF HOW IT TOOK A WILD, A LONG TIME, SHE RECEIVED HELP FROM THE NATIONAL ALLIANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH AND THERE WAS A GOODWILL JOB TRAINING PROGRAM AND TODAY SHE IS 28 AND SHE IS NOW – THEY WERE ABLE TO HELP HER FOCUS IN ON HER PASSION OF CARING FOR ANIMALS AND SHE IS ABLE TO WORK ALMOST FULL TIME. THE PROBLEM IS THAT SHE IS MAKING JUST ENOUGH THAT SHE MAY BE OVER THE MEDI-CAL LIMIT. HERSELF AND EXPENSES. IT’S THOSE PROTECTIONS AND THOSE SOCIAL SUPPORT PROGRAMS FOR OUR YOUNG ADULTS ARE SO IMPORTANT AND THE REPAIRING THE DAMAGE IT TAKES YEARS. WHERE A LITTLE BIT OF PREVENTION WELL COORDINATED WOULD HAVE BEEN A SOLUTION. I WOULD ENCOURAGE US WHEN WE THINK ABOUT THIS TO THINK IN A BROADWAY ABOUT PREVENTION.>>ONE OF THE THINGS YOUR STORY ILLUSTRATES AND ECHOES WHAT WE HAVE HEARD IS THAT WE HAVE THIS PATCHWORK OF COVERAGE. WE HAVE PEOPLE OF MULTIPLE INSURANCES BECAUSE THEY ARE WORRIED THAT ONE WILL GET IT DONE. WE HAVE PEOPLE WHO FALL OFF A CLIFF WITH ONE PROGRAM AND IT CAN TAKE MONTHS AND MONTHS TO GET PICKED BACK UP. THIS IS ONE OF THE THINGS AS WE TALK ABOUT WHICH DIRECTION SHOULD REMOVE. ONE OF THE ADVANTAGE OF MEDICARE FOR ALL IS A POTENTIALLY THAT IT ELIMINATES THE CONSTANT SHIFTING THE GAPS IN COVERAGE. THERE IS NO HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY THAT HAS THE BROAD COVERAGE OF MEDICARE IN TERMS OF NUMBER OF PROVIDERS. WHEN WE TALK ABOUT HOW IMPORTANT IS FOR MOST OF US TO KEEP OUR PHYSICIAN KEEP OUR PHYSICIAN THAT IS REALLY WHAT WE CARE ABOUT. WE DON’T CARE ABOUT KEEPING OUR INSURER WE CARE ABOUT KEEPING OUR PROVIDERS. AND MEDICARE HAS THE BROADEST NUMBER OF PROVIDERS THAT TAKE MEDICARE. I THINK THE FACT THAT YOU SEE PEOPLE WHO ARE THRIVING AND ARE SUCCEEDING AND YET THE CONSEQUENCES OF THAT CAN BE TO MOVE FORWARD ECONOMICALLY CAN BE TO MOVE BACKWARD IN TERMS OF THE HEALTHCARE THAT THEY ARE RECEIVING. THAT’S A BROKEN HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.>>WE HAVE TIME FOR A COUPLE MORE QUESTIONS. GREG AND GO TO ERICA AND THEN JOHN.>>I WANTED TO SHARE MY STORY ABOUT MY SON. WE TALKED ABOUT KEEPING PRE-EXISTING CONDITION COVERAGE IN PLACE BUT WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO ME AND IT’S SIMILAR TO LAUREN, WHEN MY 4-YEAR-OLD SON WAS BORN HE DEVELOPED A NASTY INFECTION WHEN HE WAS TWO DAYS OLD. LITERALLY WE WERE FIVE MINUTES AWAY FROM GETTING OUT OF THE HOSPITAL. NEXT THING I KNEW THE ROOM WAS FULL OF DOCTORS. OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS IN THE HOSPITAL DOCTORS AND NURSES IT WOULD MAKE JOKES ABOUT GOOD THING THERE IS A COVERAGE IN PLACE OR YOU DON’T HAVE TO RORY ABOUT PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS. IN MY HEAD I WAS THINKING IT’S NOT FUNNY IT’S TERRIFYING. IT’S NOT LIKE MY SON DID ANYTHING. HIS UMBILICAL STUMP GOT INFECTED BUT IT’S TERRIFYING TO KNOW THAT ON RECORD AT THE INSURANCE COMPANY. I HAD DOCTORS WHO PULLED UP HIS OLD RECORDS AND WE TALK ABOUT THIS. AND IT’S REALLY SCARY. HE IS FOUR YEARS OLD NOW AND HE’S OBVIOUSLY ON MY INSURANCE BUT THAT MAY NOT BE THE CASE WHEN HE AGES OUT AND NEEDS TO GET HIS OWN COVERAGE APPEARED THAT MAY NOT BE A CHOICE FOR HIM>>YOU THINK ABOUT SOMEONE BEING BORN AND COMING INTO THIS WORLD BEING HANDICAPPED THEIR ENTIRE LIFE FROM BEING ABLE TO GET CARE TO HAVE JOBS JOB FREEDOM OR THE FLEXIBILITY TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS. IT DRIVES HOME THAT THE ACT OF COMING IN THIS WORLD CAN BE A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION. THAT SOMETHING THAT WE SHOULD ALL STAND AGAINST IT BECAUSE IT’S HOLDING BACK OUR FUTURE GENERATION. WE ALL FEEL IT’S MORALLY WRONG. WE SHOULD CARE FOR OUR MOST VULNERABLE AND GIVE THEM THE BEST FOOTING AND OPPORTUNITY WE CAN.>>VERY GOOD TO MEET YOU CONGRESSWOMAN. VERY PROUD TO HAVE VOTED FOR YOU IN 2015 I SUFFERED A PSYCHOTIC BREAK. I WASN’T MAKING MUCH SENSE SO MY FAMILY STOPPED ANSWERING THEIR PHONE FIRED FROM TWO JOBS AS A MASSAGE THERAPIST AND WAS HOMELESS WITHIN TWO MONTHS. WHAT CAN WE DO TO DESIGN A SYSTEM WHERE SOMEONE LIKE THAT WHO FINDS THEMSELVES WITH WITH NO ONE AND NOTHING DOESN’T END UP ALONE AND STIGMATIZED AND UNABLE TO GET HELP.>>THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY. WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS IMPORTANT. BY SHARING YOUR STORY YOU’RE HELPING TO LIFT THE STAY. A STIGMA. I’M DELIGHTED THAT YOU’RE HERE AND THAT YOU’RE ARE SPEAKING UP. IT’S POWERFUL AND IT’S MOVING. THANK YOU FOR BEING A VOICE. ONE OF THE ISSUES HERE IS THAT PART OF THE ISSUE IS THERE IS NOT THE CAREGIVERS WE NEED TO HAVE AND THOSE KINDS OF SITUATIONS. YOU MAY WIND UP IN AN ER WHEN YOU SUFFER THAT KIND OF SITUATION. THE ER DOCTOR REALLY WANTS TO HELP BUT THEY ARE GIVEN THREE DAYS. TO CONSIDER GOING TO COME OUT OF THE ER AND YOU MAY BE RESTRAINED FOR THE THREE DAYS AND YOU COME WITH NO DIAGNOSIS AND NO PROGNOSIS AND THE WRAPAROUND SERVICES AND YOU ARE TOLD TO GO FIND A PSYCHIATRIST. YOU CAN CALL AND CALL AND IT CAN BE MONTHS UNTIL YOU GET AN APPOINTMENT. ONE OF THE THINGS WE ARE SEE OUR VA DO IS I WANT TO SEE AS MOVING TO THE MODEL OF DOING MORE AND MORE WITH OTHER INSURANCE AND INTEGRATE PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH CARE. THE VA IN LONG BEACH HAS A SEPARATE ER FOR PATIENTS THAT ARE EXPERIENCING ACUTE MENTAL HEALTH SITUATIONS. IT’S DESIGNED TO RECOGNIZE AND PROVIDE THOSE WRAPAROUND SERVICES. FOR SOMEONE LIKE YOU, THIS CASCADED IN A WAY THAT ENDED UP BEING A VERY PAINFUL FOR YOU. THE VERY PAINFUL FOR YOUR FAMILY WHO I’M SURE HE FELT POWERLESS TO HELP YOU. I’M PROUD OF YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY. I’M GRATEFUL THAT YOU ARE WELL. I WILL PARTNER WITH YOU IN THIS FIGHT TO MAKE SURE THAT PEOPLE DON’T HAVE TO GO THROUGH WHAT YOU WENT THROUGH.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH. THINK ALL OF YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR STORIES. IT’S INTERESTING TO SEE THE COMMENT THREADS THAT ARE HERE AND HOW UNIQUE EACH PERSON STORY IS. I KNOW SOME OF US ARE ON ONE SIDE OF THE AISLE AND SOME ON THE OTHER BUT WE ALL HAVE THIS IN COMMON IS THAT THESE ISSUES AFFECT ALL OF US AND WE ARE SO GRATEFUL FOR YOUR TIME AND YOUR LEADERSHIP AND THAT FIGHT YOU BRING TO YOUR JOB. THANK YOU SO MUCH CONGRESSWOMAN PORTER FOR YOUR TIME TODAY.

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