MSNBC's Ron Mott reported on West Virginia residents who rely on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for their insurance coverage. West Virginia resident Howard Claytor explained that the ACA allowed him to continue treatment for his 29-year old son, who was left paralyzed and speechless after he had reached a lifetime cap on benefits. Mott also spoke with Michelle Barto, a recovering drug addict whose therapy and medical care are both covered by ACA's Medicaid expansion. While the media continues to botch their reporting on ACA, more Americans favor the ACA now than oppose it, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reports that 18 million people could lose their insurance if ACA is repealed by the Trump administration. From the January 24 edition of MSNBC's MSNBC Live:
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RON MOTT: While President Trump and the Republican led congress move forward with their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. We decided to come here to West Virginia to see how this hits home for people who really depend on the protections of that health law. And there's a pretty powerful story in this house right here.
HOWARD CLAYTOR works for a local town, but the most important job for him and his wife Marianne caring for their 29-year old son Cedric, paralyzed and left speechless by a mysterious illness.
MOTT: What happens if you lose this insurance?
MARIANNE CLAYTOR: Our son will die.
MOTT: It's that simple?
CLAYTOR: It's that simple.
MOTT: The biggest worries for the Claytors? Losing the safety net of preexisting conditions coverage and reinstalling the cap on lifetime insurance benefits.
MOTT: People like Michelle Barto, a recovering drug addict whose therapy is covered through Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.
MICHELLE BARTO: There is no way I'd be able to insurance on my own if I had to pay for it out of pocket. The main thing I'm worried about focusing on right now is myself and my sobriety. If you take away the insurance, it's like pulling the rug out from underneath somebody. You're taking away their treatment program, their medicine, their doctor, their therapist, their support system that they have with everybody that is in their group.
MOTT: If Obamacare is repealed without immediate replacements, the concern is that hospitals could suddenly be flooded with uninsured patients looking for care, that could affect the bottom line, and since smaller hospitals might have to scale back services or in the worst case scenario, close altogether, Steph.