LITTLE ROCK — Clarke Tucker, Democratic challenger to incumbent Congressman French Hill, today sharply criticized his opponent for voting for the American Health Care Act, which would have essentially dismantled Arkansas’s innovative, bipartisan Medicaid expansion program and allowed insurance companies to charge those with pre-existing conditions much higher rates. At a press conference Wednesday, Tucker, along with three of Congressman Hill’s constituents with pre-existing conditions, told stories of their battles with illness and said that if Congressman Hill had his way, they wouldn’t be able to afford health care coverage today.
“We are here to set the record straight on health care — my opponent voted to allow insurance companies to charge exorbitant rates for people like us and one million Arkansans across this state,” Tucker said alongside three others with pre-existing conditions. “Having access to quality, affordable healthcare is not political, it is personal–for us, and for every family who has a relative with a pre-existing condition. If Congressman Hill and his allies go back to Washington, our future is uncertain. This is too important to let that happen.”
Also speaking at the press conference was healthcare advocate Matt DeCample who is battling liver cancer, Rebecca Tenille, a breast cancer survivor, and Marilyn Foy, a pancreatic cancer survivor. Foy is on Arkansas’s Medicaid expansion program and wouldn’t have been able to afford healthcare costs associated with her cancer treatment without it.
“Without Medicaid expansion, I don’t know what I would have done,” Foy, a 53-year-old pancreatic cancer survivor said. “I support Clarke because he fought to protect health care for me in Arkansas, and I know he will stand up for me in Congress.”
The AHCA would have also allowed insurance companies to charge those with a pre-existing condition much higher rates.
“I don’t want to have to make the choice between my child’s tuition and tamoxifen,” Tenille said at the press conference Wednesday. “That’s why I really support Clarke, and I appreciate that he’s taken his story — which, it’s hard to share these stories — and do something that’s going to help each and every one of us live healthier lives.”
“The American Health Care Act would have drawn the line of what I could afford,” DeCample said. “Ever since my first job, I’ve always stored some money away for a rainy day. The American Health Care Act would not have been a rainy day, it would have been a tornado.”