Sen. Donnelly says he is looking out for the health of Hoosiers

WSBT 22 photo

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but insurance is what pays the bills when you finally go in for a checkup.

Senator Joe Donnelly says he wants to make sure Hoosiers can actually afford that visit.

Donnelly held a roundtable discussion about that issue today.

He and Democratic congressional candidates Mel Hall and Don Westerhausen spoke with Hoosiers about their health care stories.

Everyone at the table had something in common -- they had struggled with finding quality, affordable insurance.

Jennica Liberatore is a mother of triplets

"They are hysterical,” she says. “They all have very different personalities and it’s kind of funny to see them develop those personalities, because normally siblings aren’t all the same age!"

Liberatore's triplets are 4 now, and healthy. But when they were born, they arrived three months early.

"It was multiple, multiple millions of dollars that it cost for them to be in the NICU," she said.

Liberatore says she and her husband were able to pay for that three month stay and more because of the Affordable Care Act, which eliminated annual and lifetime coverage caps.

"After they were home from the hospital they needed physical therapies, they needed extra medication, they needed extra vaccines and things like that."

Without those caps, Liberatore might have had to file for medical bankruptcy.

"And that affects your housing, your food security, everything because you are in bankruptcy, you don’t have the money to do things."

Those caps could be back on the table, along with other things.

"There’s an effort right now to sabotage the affordable care act,” said Donnelly. “The administration has filed a lawsuit to try to end coverage for pre-existing conditions."

Donnelly says he's fighting to protect the Affordable Care Act.

"That’s my job is to fight for Hoosiers. To fight for our jobs, to fight for our health care, to fight to make sure our families can have a better future, and that’s what this is about."

WSBT 22 reached out to Donnelly and Hall's running opponents today -- Congressional Candidate Mike Braun and Representative Jackie Walorski.

Braun did not get back to us.

Walorski did send us a statement. She said:

“With rising premiums and fewer options, Hoosier families need more affordable health care and more control over how they pay for it. That’s why I fought to prevent cuts to children’s health insurance, helped pass long-term funding for community health centers, and voted to end Obamacare’s burdensome individual mandate. I'm committed to finding commonsense solutions to empower Hoosier families and help ease the financial burden of health care.”

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