Andrea Pietrowsky’s daughter was born with a potentially fatal heart defect. Without the Affordable Care Act, just keeping her daughter alive will be a challenge.
MICHIGAN—Andrea Pietrowky, from Wayne County, is energetic and passionate. She dedicates time and energy to fighting for children with medical conditions and pushing legislators to take action to protect kids, because she knows the struggles personally.
Pietrowsky‘s daughter Louisa was born with a potentially fatal heart defect: The left side of her heart was completely underdeveloped. Louisa, now six, has never lived in a world without the kind of healthcare reforms introduced in the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The ACA not only helped Pietrowsky obtain health coverage, but ensures that her daughter never has higher premiums or fewer options because of the condition she was born with. But that might not be true for Louisa much longer.
With the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, Pietowsky is worried that the legislation that has protected her daughter and was designed to only grow with time will, instead, abruptly end in the next year.
Louisa had multiple open-heart surgeries in the first few years of life to help address her condition. The cost of those procedures is high. Cardiovascular Business reports that pediatric heart surgeries could cost around $100,000 each without coverage.
And while threatening her daughter’s health coverage, Pietrowsky feels all the more insulted by the lacking plan to ensure her daughter’s needs would be met in a post-ACA world.
“If the ACA were repealed, I dread to think of the possibilities,” she said. “Emotions are intense. It’s insulting to hear the current president lie to the American public and say that he’ll protect people with preexisting conditions while completely sabotaging and trying to dismantle the ACA.”
The consequences for Pietrowsky range from barriers to getting her daughter treatment to potential bankruptcy. And she’s aware that she’s hardly alone.
Health Care Motivates This Mother’s Vote
That’s why her vote this November is going to President Donald Trump’s challenger Democratic nominee Joe Biden, and why she wants to keep Michigan’s Democratic senator, Gary Peters, serving the state in Washington.
Biden was instrumental in getting the ACA passed in the first place, and it stands as a part of his legacy in Washington. And polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that the legislation remains popular overall in the United States. The core of Biden’s health plan is protecting and building on that legacy, enhancing the ACA rather than dismantling it.
Biden intends to expand coverage options for low-income and older Michiganders as well as provide stronger tax credits to help offset insurance costs. He also would end surprise billing, a practice that the pandemic put under scrutiny in Michigan.
In his time in Washington, Peters has opposed attempts to dismantle the ACA and has called attention to the lack of a plan to move forward from the goal of ending the ACA that the Trump administration has shown. Peters has also been working toward adding a Medicare public option to the ACA to help further strengthen the legislation’s impact on working families in Michigan.
Both those platforms resonate with Peitrowsky.
“This election and Trump’s presidency have made one thing more clear than ever,” she said. “We need leaders who will listen and who care. And those leaders are, without a doubt, Joe Biden in the White House and Gary Peters for Michigan.”