January 12, 2017

Whitehouse Dedicates Vote Against Fast Tracking Affordable Care Act Repeal to Woonsocket Teen

14-year-old Charlie is among those whose health care could be at risk after repeal

Washington, DC – In the early hours of the morning on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today cast his vote against a Republican budget resolution aimed at fast tracking repeal of the Affordable Care Act in honor of Charlie, a 14-year-old boy from Woonsocket. 

“I am going to do everything in my power to fight the attempt to take away the affordable health care that Charlie and tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders rely on,” said Whitehouse.  “Without the Affordable Care Act, kids like Charlie who were born with an illness could be turned away by insurers from getting the care they need at a price their families can afford.  Parents who have a child facing a serious illness have enough to worry about without the fear of going bankrupt because their coverage has run out.”

Charlie was born with a condition called neurofibromatosis (NF), an inherited genetic disorder.  Effects of NF can include tumors on the skin and throughout the body, hearing loss, and spinal deformities, and treatment can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Before the ACA, families of children with NF could quickly hit the lifetime cap on health benefits imposed by many insurance companies, which the Affordable Care Act eliminated.  In addition, protections in the law guarantee Charlie will not be denied coverage because of his pre-existing condition and will be able to stay on his parents’ insurance until age 26.

A video of Whitehouse’s dedication is available here.

The Republican budget resolution passed the Senate 51 to 48, setting the repeal of the Affordable Care Act on a legislative fast track.

On Sunday, January 15, Whitehouse will join his congressional colleagues and dozens of Rhode Islanders for a rally to prevent the dismantling of America’s health care system and the rush to gut the Affordable Care Act.  The event will take place at 1 p.m. at the Johnston Senior Center, 1291 Hartford Avenue, Johnston.  All Rhode Islanders are welcome.


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