Connecticut's U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is sounding the alarm about the future of healthcare under the new Republican congress and the Trump administration.
"Right now it looks as if in early January, Republicans are going to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and replace it with absolutely nothing," he told a Wednesday press conference. "For the 250,000 people here in Connecticut who rely on it, the result will be chaos."
He said even if a repeal is passed but suspended for a year, the market could collapse as insurers pull out of exchanges, and raise premiums even on private policies.
"We are trying to rally support all around the country to make the case to Republicans to take a breath, step back and wait, before doing something as cruel and as inhumane as ripping healthcare away from millions of Americans and throwing the entire healthcare marketplace into chaos," he said.
Murphy highlighted the stories of several Connecticut residents who have benefited from the Affordable Care Act.
Isabelle Endicott’s second son was born with a congenital heart condition that required a quarter of a million dollars worth of treatment within his first few weeks of life. Before the Affordable Care Act he could have been denied insurance once he reached a lifetime cap on coverage.
"I worry that lifetime caps will be reintroduced," said Endicott. "For families with a medically complex child, this terrifies us. Our children could meet these caps very early in their lives, and then how will we manage?"
Josh Scussell was diagnosed with stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at the age of 23. He underwent two stem cell transplants, over years of treatment. Because of the Affordable Care Act, he was able to be treated under his mother's health insurance policy.
"I stand here today alive, and almost essentially cured, because of many facets of the Affordable Care Act," he said. "For anyone else that is in my position, or will find themselves in my position, it truly is a matter of life and death."
Murphy is urging congressional Republicans to wait to consider all of the implications before enacting a repeal.