As Trump Admin Seeks to Dismantle ACA, Pingree Invites Mainer Who Relies on Health Law’s Pre-Existing Condition Protections to President’s State of the Union Address
Washington, January 30, 2020
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has invited Kings Floyd to join her at President Trump’s State of the Union address scheduled to be delivered next Tuesday, February 4th in the US House of Representatives chamber at 9:00 pm. Floyd is a disability rights advocate who has benefited from the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) pre-existing condition protections.
“The Affordable Care Act expanded access to 40% of Mainers with pre-existing conditions, like Kings. This law has helped her and millions of Americans with disabilities lead healthier and more independent lives. It’s unconscionable that President Trump would put the well-being of so many Americans in jeopardy while giving huge tax breaks to corporations and big drug companies,” said Congresswoman Chellie Pingree. “I’m proud to have Kings Floyd as my guest at this year’s State of the Union not only because she is representative of the tremendous good the ACA has done, but because she’s an outspoken and unrelenting champion of this life-saving law.”
Floyd, 25, depends on the Affordable Care Act to both remain on her parent’s health plan and access health care coverage with her pre-existing conditions associated with muscular dystrophy and epilepsy. On her parent’s plan, Floyd’s prescription drug costs already exceed $200 each month. She worries how the Trump administration’s attempts to undermine Medicaid coverage, the ACA, and the Trump administration’s multi-billion dollar tax giveaway to pharmaceutical companies will impact her ability to live an independent and healthy life.
“President Trump’s decision not to defend the Affordable Care Act is a direct threat to the personhood of people with disabilities. I’m about to age off of my parent’s healthcare plan and with the ACA’s future uncertain, I have no idea if I will be able to buy coverage with my pre-existing conditions. A rollback of the ACA will not only harm my health, it could render me unable to live an independent life,” said Kings Floyd.
Under the 2017 Republican tax plan signed by President Trump, four pharmaceutical companies received a tax break of $7 billion dollars, while the average cost of prescription drugs rose 17% in the first six months 2019 alone. The Republican tax bill also rolled back the ACA’s so-called individual mandate and prompted opponents of the law to file Texas v. United States, which could invalidate some or all of the law, including protections for people with pre-existing conditions. President Trump said when he signed the 2017 law:
“So, in this bill, not only do we have massive tax cuts and tax reform. We have essentially repealed Obamacare, and we will come up with something that will be much better, whether it's block grants or whether it's taking what we have and doing something terrific, but Obamacare has been repealed in this bill.”
This week, the Trump Administration is expected to announce plans to undermine Medicaid, the nation’s safety net health care program that covers approximately 1 in 5 Americans. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator Verma plans to send letters to state Medicaid directors as early as today announcing the Administration’s plans to turn Medicaid into a block grant program, thereby capping funding and allowing states to limit health benefits and drugs available to some patients. The Trump administration program threatens the success of Medicaid expansion—a cornerstone of the Affordable Care Act—which has reduced mortality rates nationwide by 9.3%.
Ms. Floyd’s biography is below. Her headshot is attached.
Kings Floyd is a disability rights activist, advocate and writer. Ms. Floyd grew up in Cape Elizabeth and graduated from Waynflete School in Portland in 2012, going on to graduate with a BA in English Writing from High Point University in North Carolina in 2016. She works to combine her passion for disability rights, healthcare, and mental health and wellness with intersectional communities. Her most recent career achievement includes a TEDx Talk on housing and accessibility in November 2019, watch here. Passion projects include working on the Women's March, the DC Pride March, and other civil rights demonstrations. Kings is also the co-chair of DC- Metro ADAPT, a disability rights organization that focuses on maintaining healthcare services for people with disabilities, especially those using Medicare, Medicaid, and Money Follows the Person, among other disability community priorities. Future goals include working with Maine’s Transportation Committee to create mandated access and support for Mainers with disabilities.