Representative Ryan, I am Teresa Johnson; I live in Racine. I am a registered nurse and have worked for 35 years with women and their families to promote healthy pregnancies, births, and infants. To do this, women need to be free to make the right decisions about their bodies and their lives. I will be addressing the ACA (Affordable Care Act) and Planned Parenthood. Do you care about and want good affordable healthcare for your constituents, many of whom work 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet? I ask this question to make sure you understand the negative impact families will experience if you repeal or eliminate the Affordable Care Act?
The ACA allows free preventative health care; young adults to stay on parents' insurance well into their 20's, and be covered for tragic diseases or accidents. The ACA allows individuals to change jobs or purse a profession that doesn't have health insurance. The ACA allows individuals with chronic illnesses to have continuous treatment without a mandatory 6 month waiting period. Can you imagine what it would be waiting for 6 months to get much needed therapy for your family member? In a recent appearance, you mentioned moving Planned Parenthood funding to FQHC (Federal Qualified Health Centers). Do you know there is no FQHC in Racine County?
If you listen to families in your district, many are working 1-3 jobs to survive. Before Christmas, we were delivering baskets of food and presents to families in need. We had a 30 minute window to meet one family for delivery. She picked her children up from school after she was finished one job, and then picked up someone to watch her them so she could get to work at the 2nd job? So yes, she was poor, yes she was working, yes, she is trying to do the best she can for her family. But now you want to take away Planned Parenthood where she can get family planning and lifesaving health screening free or at a low cost. Can you imagine what it would be like for this woman I just mentioned to take off work, and drive 25 miles each way to get family planning OR the health care she needs to maintain her own health. Do you really want to make it harder for the families in our communities to get the health care that they need?