Congressman Cartwright joined Senator Casey and local advocates to discuss the importance of affordable and accessible health care for Pennsylvanians. Read more about their efforts and the Protect Our Care event in this Times Leader report: 

Kristin Urquiza, founder of Marked by COVID, Tuesday said President Donald Trump ‘has failed to protect the people of the U.S., failed to make decisions that benefit public health, and is putting his own political agenda above our families, our parents, our children.’

Urquiza participated in a virtual panel discussion with U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, and health care advocate Erin Gabriel as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual bus tour to call for an end to the GOP’s continued war on Pennsylvanians’ health care.

According to its website, Protect Our Care is “leading the fight to protect and strengthen health care for millions of Americans and to stop the relentless Republican war on the Affordable Care Act and America’s health care system. It states that it it “the outreach, rapid response, research and messaging center in the fight to protect health care, and works closely with its partners in the progressive community to ensure access to affordable, quality health care is protected for all in this country.”

Urquiza said Trump “is promoting super spreader events in the midst of a pandemic while he’s also trying to take away our healthcare.”

She said, “He’s rushing to reopen schools, continuing to discourage people from wearing masks, and we are continuing to fall behind when it comes to testing, contact tracing, and other mitigation strategies that we know work.

‘When we play with our care, it’s a life and death situation, I know this far too personally. Losing my dad to this terrible virus is the most awful thing that could ever have happened to me and my family. I think about him being alone in the hospital not being able to have his family around him when he passed, and I would not wish that type of death upon my worst enemy. So that’s why I’m here, to ensure that this November, we are thinking of healthcare when we go to the ballot.’

Protect Our Care’s nationwide virtual “Your Health, Your Vote” tour arrived in Pennsylvania to highlight Republicans’ ongoing war on health care and failed coronavirus response.

The event highlighted how Trump’s “health care sabotage,” including a lawsuit to completely dismantle the Affordable Care Act during a pandemic, would impact Pennsylvanians’ care.

The panel also called on Republicans to denounce Trump’s war on health care and discussed the Democrats’ agenda to improve health care and lower costs for Americans.

Gabriel said all three of her children have disabilities and they rely on the protections of the Affordable Care Act to access care.

‘In this time of great uncertainty, our families — all of our families — need the certainty that if they or their child needs care, that they can get that care without losing their home,’ Gabriel said. ‘Especially now. And instead of offering that certainty the president is in court trying to rip health care away from millions.

Gabriel added, ‘Our kids are missing out on so much of their childhood right now. And instead of acting to mitigate this virus in our communities, instead of showing true leadership, the administration is trying to force schools open without adequate safety measures, all so President Trump can perpetuate a myth of normalcy in the midst of deadly chaos. And this was all preventable. It didn’t have to be this way. Our children deserve so much better.’

Cartwright, D-Moosic, said the stories told by Urquiza and Gabriel reminded him of the reason why people like his and Casey are fighting so hard to protect and strengthen Pennsylvanians’ health care, and why this fight is so critical right now.

‘House Democrats have been pushing for more than 100 days for negotiations with the Senate over the Heroes Act to keep up a strong federal response to COVID-19, get our economy running safely again, and improve affordable health coverage,’ Cartwright said. ‘But the GOP has carried on with its decade-long assault on Pennsylvanians’ care. We have to continue to stand against these attacks and work for better health care, and a better coronavirus response.’

Protect Our Care’s national virtual bus tour has stops in 16 key states and highlights what’s at stake for health care in the upcoming election.

‘One thing is clear in 2020 — health care is on the ballot,’ Protect Our Care stated in a news release about the bus tour. “Health care is the number one issue on voters’ minds, and we are reminding Americans on this tour about Republicans’ ongoing efforts to take their health care away.

Read the full story in the Times Leader.