Healthcare professionals warn PA voters the dangers of a second Trump term

Donald Trump

Republican presidential candidate, former President Donald Trump arrives for a rally outside Schnecksville Fire Hall on April 13, 2024 in Schnecksville, Pennsylvania. Hundreds of supporters waited hours in a line stretching for more than a mile to see Trump speak in a suburb of Allentown, Pennsylvania in the Lehigh Valley. (Photo by Andrew Harnik/Getty Images)

By Sean Kitchen

May 14, 2024

State Rep. Arvind Venkat was joined by medical professionals in Pittsburgh on Tuesday as they launched the Health Care Providers for Biden-Harris and highlight the dangers of a second Trump term.

Healthcare is on the ballot this fall.

That’s the message President Joe Biden’s campaign is telling voters in important swing states across the country as the election approaches.

“There is no greater threat to Americans’ health care than Donald Trump returning to the White House,” Biden-Harris 2024 Campaign Manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.

“Trump has been clear about his plans: He will kill the Affordable Care Act and increase the cost of prescription drugs, ripping away health care coverage and shooting costs through the roof for tens of millions of Americans, all for his pursuit of revenge and retribution and to make Big Pharma richer.

Earlier this year, Trump called the ACA a “disaster” at a campaign event in Iowa and promised to repeal it if he’s elected this November. If elected, close to 5.2 million Pennsylvanians, and 100 million Americans, with preexisting conditions are at risk of losing their healthcare coverage.

“I don’t think we should forget that Donald Trump, since he ran for office, has said he wants to ‘terminate the Affordable Care Act,’ and he came very close to doing so when he was president,” State Rep. Arvind Venkat (D-Allegheny) told The Keystone in an interview.

“When someone has told us and shown us who they are, I think we have to believe them.”

Venkat, who is an emergency room physician, spoke at a press conference in Pittsburgh on Tuesday with other medical professionals as the Biden campaign launched its Health Care Providers for Biden-Harris initiative in Pennsylvania. The campaign also has events planned in Erie, Lancaster and Scranton.

The Health Care Providers for Biden-Harris is a coalition of doctors, nurses and other medical professionals that seeks to inform and organize residents across Pennsylvania, and the country, about what’s at stake this November.

The campaign also wants to target Black and Latino voters through paid media efforts in key battleground states. Last week, the Biden-Harris campaign launched an ad using a video of Trump calling Obamacare a “disaster.”

Venkat explained that prior to the passage of the ACA, close to 20% of the patients he saw as an emergency room physician had no insurance and many died because of that.

“I’ve actually seen patients who’ve died as a result of the cost of healthcare, lack of health insurance, medical debt, and the Affordable Care Act has changed that dramatically,” Venkat said. “Now, the percentage of patients that I see who have no insurance and no ability to seek preventive care and necessary healthcare has dropped to well under 10%.”

That progress could be wiped away in a second Trump term.

“We could go back to a time when health insurers could prevent people with preexisting conditions from having affordable care, patients with cancer, patients with diabetes, patients with asthma. That would devastate the ability to access care for so many Pennsylvanians.”

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

CATEGORIES: NATIONAL POLITICS

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