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  • Piedmont Rising

Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Pre-Existing Conditions Protections Are More Important Than Ever

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

Access to health care for North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions hangs in the balance after slow federal response to coronavirus crisis

Raleigh, N.C. – Last night, patients and advocates from across North Carolina joined Piedmont Rising for the launch of a Virtual Health Care Town Hall series to elevate the stories and experiences of North Carolinians affected by access to affordable health care and to share how in the face of this global health emergency it is more important than ever to protect the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Close to thirty attendees joined the online meeting, with more than half reporting in a live poll conducted during the event, that they are living with a pre-existing condition, and seventy percent reported having a loved one with a pre-existing condition. 

Anna Crollman, a young mom, health care advocate and breast cancer survivor shared why it is imperative to protect the care of other North Carolinians with pre-existing conditions.“I am just one of 1.7 million North Carolinians living with a pre-existing condition that would be impacted by an ACA repeal. And with everything going on with the coronavirus here and around the world, it makes it is even more evident how important it is, not only to have health care, but to ensure that it’s affordable for all families.”

As the coronavirus creates many more with pre-existing conditions, DonnaMarie Woodson, a breast and colon cancer survivor and health care advocate, who credits the ACA for saving her life, shared her disappointment in Senator Thom Tillis’ attacks against the health care law. “It’s numbing to think of Senator Tillis’ record and how he could even think of taking health care from people. For me, that says a lot about him and his priorities. And the coronavirus is really shining a bright light on why it’s so vital that we all have access to quality affordable health care.”

Piedmont Rising’s Executive Director Casey Wilkinson said “Our hope is that the more we all share our health care stories, the more policymakers will understand the human impact of their policy positions and votes. During this national crisis, North Carolinians living with pre-existing conditions need to know that when they attempt to access health care they won’t be charged more because of that condition, when they need critical care like preventive medicine, prescription drug coverage, and maternity care. We need to know that Senators Thom Tillis and Richard Burr will work for us. We will continue to call on them to remove the barriers to care and stand up for their constituents.”

You can view the entire ​event here.​


Jessica Coscia


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