Statement provided by Vijay Kapoor:
On Thursday (January 26th), eleven constituents of Congressman Patrick McHenry dropped by his Black Mountain office to deliver letters explaining how repealing the Affordable Care Act would impact them and those who they knew and to request he attend a town hall meeting on Monday, February 20th at 7pm at Highland Brewing.
Vijay Kapoor, a South Asheville resident who brought along his three-year old son, explained that being insured through the ACA allowed him to leave his previous job and grow his small business. He was particularly concerned about the impact on his family of repealing the ACA without a clear and viable replacement plan and noted that many local residents who work in the service industry do not receive health care through their employers.
Asheville resident Beth Jezek shared a story about a friend who was a single mother with multiple sclerosis who would not be able to afford her medication without the ACA. She said that her friend would be wheelchair-bound without that medication.
Former Asheville City Councilmember Chris Pelly pressed McHenry’s staff member to request that McHenry personally attend a town hall meeting on Monday, February 20th at 7pm at Highland Brewing that he, Jezek, and Kapoor were organizing.
While the constituents’ primary concern was about the ACA, several attendees from Givens Estates Retirement Community also mentioned worries about the possible privatization of Medicare and Medicaid. Givens Resident Pat Deck warned that she and many of her neighbors in nearby retirement communities in McHenry’s district would be watching that issue very closely.
Asked why he decided to visit McHenry’s office, Kapoor said, “if our representatives don’t come to us, we have no choice but to go to them. These are life and death issues for families.”
Letter delivered to McHenry:
VIA HAND DELIVERY
Congressman Patrick McHenry
160 Midland Avenue
Black Mountain, NC 28711
Dear Congressman McHenry:
My family and I are your constituents and we write you to oppose any effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act or ACA. I, my wife, my six year old daughter and my three year old son all receive our health insurance through the ACA and we are outraged that you would consider voting to take our health insurance away. We are even more outraged that you have no viable plan to replace it and you know it.
I own a small business providing economic analysis. The ACA allowed me to cover my family and move them to North Carolina. Because the ACA protected against insurance companies discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, I could leave my previous job without fear of a condition not being covered. Because the ACA provided for premium subsidies, it gave me and my family a financial safety net if my company turned out to be unsuccessful or if we had a bad year. If the ACA is repealed, small business owners such as me will no longer have those critical protections and might need to close our companies. Other people with serious medical problems may again be forced to declare bankruptcy due to high medical bills.
You and I are similar. We’re close in age, are fathers, and want to protect our families. Last week, my three year old son woke up crying with a high fever. For the first time, I was not only worried about him, but whether we’d have health insurance to cover him going forward. I cannot imagine what it must feel like to be a father who has a child with a chronic condition who might lose health insurance. Can you?
I am enclosing a picture of my family so you can see who the repeal of the ACA will really impact. As Pope Francis said, “health is not a consumer good, but rather a universal right, and therefore access to health care services cannot be a privilege.” We hope that you will do the right thing and oppose the ACA’s repeal and replacement. We also request that you attend a Monday, February 20th town hall meeting in Asheville in-person to discuss this issue with your constituents. You can reach me at 828-209-8930.
January 26, 2017
P.S. – We vote.