Life or death

Mother live-streams visits to congressman, says health care bill could kill her and others


Jennifer Williams, a Gaston County, North Carolina, resident, had repeatedly called and emailed her congressman, Republican Representative Patrick McHenry, for an appointment — but to no avail. At town halls across the country, Republicans have been confronted by boos and jeers from crowds upset over Trump’s policy on health care, immigration, and numerous other issues. McHenry, meanwhile, has been studiously ignoring constituents such as Williams — and has recently avoided holding any town hall meetings whatsoever.

Desperate to make herself heard, Williams learned from the example of fellow Gaston County mother Julie Anderson, whose Facebook Live video filmed outside of McHenry’s office has already amassed more than four million views. In the video, a uniformed officer can be seen escorting Anderson and her tiny blonde daughter out of McHenry’s office while referring to her as a “single parent.” As the officer walks off, Anderson explains that she can’t “apparently be in McHenry’s office and voice my opinions.”

McHenry, who voted for the repeal of Obamacare, claims on his website that the new Republican bill will not cost people with pre-existing conditions extra. The reality, according to experts, is that the bill could deprive 24 million people of insurance and allow insurers to charge potentially exorbitant fees to those with pre-existing conditions. For Anderson, that could mean the death of her 4-year-old daughter.

In her Facebook Live video, Anderson explained that insurers had refused to cover her daughter, Loretta, before Obamacare, because she suffers from a complex liver problem that requires expensive stem cell treatments.

“If Loretta doesn’t have her medication, she will die,” said Anderson, who has encouraged others to use social media to reach out to their elected officials.

As for Williams, she said the new health care bill could potentially put her own life on the line. Williams, 33, suffers from a congenital heart condition as well as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a rare disease that impacts her cartilage. Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies snubbed her and she had to max out her credit cards to afford treatment. Williams has also been in treatment following a rape — and North Carolina is one of five states that has refused to prohibit insurance companies from charging extra to sufferers of rape or domestic violence.

“You can see why I feel very attacked by my representative’s decision here,” Williams said.

Watch video of Anderson and Williams below.

Read the full story at CNN.


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