PHOENIX — Ahead of Mike Pence’s visit to Tucson and Flagstaff, University of Arizona Grad Student Sondy Springmann, who relies on pre-existing conditions protections from the ACA, Tucson frontline health care worker Dr. Laura de la Torre, and Coconino County Treasurer Sarah Benatar joined a press call to discuss how Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s failed pandemic response and relentless attempts to overturn the Affordable Care Act have hurt Arizona families. During the call, they outlined what’s at stake for Arizona families in this election and encouraged Arizonans to make their voices heard on the final day of early voting.
University of Arizona Grad Student Sondy Springmann, who relies on pre-existing conditions protections from the ACA: “Looking at a world without the Affordable Care Act is absolutely terrifying. Almost a quarter-million Arizonans have gotten COVID-19, and the long-term symptoms and side effects will be considered pre-existing conditions. So if the ACA goes away, this administration — which has been agitating to get rid of the ACA with no plan for replacement — will suddenly prevent all of the Arizonans and Americans they’ve failed with their impotent pandemic response who now have pre-existing conditions discrimination from accessing health care.”
Tucson frontline health care worker Dr. Laura de la Torre: “As a physician, I have seen how Trump’s failure to respond to this pandemic has devastated people in Tucson and in Arizona. … This administration continues to consistently disregard advice from health experts on standard public health measures. Five days ago, Mark Meadows, Trump’s Chief of Staff, actually admitted that they can’t control the pandemic. This leaves working families to fend for themselves. Trump has downplayed the virus for months … He has failed to implement national public health measures or a coherent testing strategy. And instead of pushing Congress to work to the benefit of our health and well-being, he rushed through a Supreme Court nominee a week before a presidential election who will side with him on overturning the Affordable Care Act. Why, during a devastating pandemic, does he want to take away health care coverage from vulnerable Americans?”
Coconino County Treasurer Sarah Benatar: “Trump’s failure to address this pandemic has hurt, not just health-wise, but economically Arizona and the United States. We have millions of Americans who lost their jobs. You look at the disproportionate impact of who’s been impacted, and it’s our service sector: hotel, restaurant, and retail workers. Them losing jobs means losing not just their wages, but their homes — they’re struggling to feed their families, and potentially risk losing access to their health care. Trump has done nothing to help them. Instead of sending the message that they should address this pandemic, Pence today in Flagstaff and Tucson will ignore it.”
“In Arizona, we have over 590,000 small businesses, 100,000 of which are Latino-owned. Small businesses have been hit the hardest by this pandemic. Small businesses are having to decide whether they keep their doors open or if they have to close to feed their own family. The economic fallout from this pandemic is going to continue. We deserve better.”