Washington • Paul Gibbs brought pictures of his sons to show in Congress.
Without the Affordable Care Act, they may not be alive, he said. It either.
A West Valley City resident and board member of the Utah Health Policy Project told a House committee how affordable health care is essential for Americans and an attack on people trying to stay desire.
"This law is commonly called the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare," Gibbs told the House Monitoring and Reform Committee. "For me, it's important to call this law its full name: the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as patient protections from the ACA have been a gift from God for people like me and families like mine. "
Gibbs noted that his twin brother needed 17 surgeries before the age of 5 and that he had personally undergone nine kidney surgeries – medical procedures that left his parents struggling financially. until their death.
In 2008, Gibbs, then a student without medical coverage, had learned that his kidney was failing him and that he needed a transplant at a cost of nearly $ 80,000. He tightly meets the criteria required to benefit from government assistance and still takes medication to insure the transplant, a cost that he believes would be comparable to his mortgage if Medicaid was not supported.
"I've heard ACA opponents say that Americans do not die for lack of health care because they could go to the ER," Gibbs said. "You can not get a kidney transplant at the E.R."
His two sons also faced health crises where he needed help paying for their care.
"If the Trump administration's position prevails and all of the ACA is canceled, catastrophic consequences for millions of Americans and the entire US health care system" said Representative Elijah Cummings, Democrat of Maryland and Chairman of the Supervisory Board and Government Reform Committee.
Cummings had invited the Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget to appear before the committee to answer questions about the administration plan if the law was rejected but the manager refused.
Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the largest Republican of the committee, described the hearing as a joke because no official from the Department of Health and Human Services or the Department of Justice has been invited to speak.
"This hearing is only a fresh attack on President Trump and it is disappointing," said Jordan.
Gibbs, who was sometimes moved during his testimony, said that it was the opposite.
"The Declaration of Independence guarantees the inalienable rights of life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness," he said. "Life comes first because without life, all other rights are meaningless. Being subject to insurance companies that can deny us coverage – and make it prohibitive because we're sick – is not freedom. And without these protections, without access to health care, there can be no pursuit of happiness. My sons deserve the right. They deserve the right to be born. They deserve the right to stay alive and have a father who has access to the care he needs to stay alive for them. "