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Dubuque family, health care provider react to Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Affordable Care Act

Updated: Jun. 19, 2021 at 2:19 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Bill Stumpf’s son, Kyle, has dealt with many health conditions related to his Down Syndrome in his 31 years.

”Instead of being able to focus on getting him better and starting to get on with life, we really were pretty stressed over the cost,” Stumpf said.

That inspired them to become health care reform advocates. Stumpf recalled how they celebrated when the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which would prevent insurers from denying coverage or charging more money based on a person’s medical history, first became law. However, fear came back when it was challenged in the Supreme Court for the third time.

”The last several months have been really, really scary, quite frankly,” he said. ”You worry and I did lose sleep over it. It is like, ‘Am I going to have health coverage tomorrow?’”

Stumpf himself also has pre-existing conditions.

But on Thursday, they received the news they were hoping for.

”Kyle had just left for work and it came across my feed on my phone and I was jumping, literally, up and down,” he said describing when he first found out the Supreme Court ruled in favor of ACA, also widely known as Obamacare. ”I slept better last night but stayed up pretty late celebrating last night because we are both so excited. We have been fighting for this for so many years.”

Staff at Crescent Community Health Center in Dubuque also celebrated the ruling. Crescent provides health care to around 9,000 people in the tri-state area every year, many of them with pre-existing conditions and uninsured.

”As we know, those persons with pre-existing conditions have had higher health care costs whether it relates to their primary care, specialty care, or also medication,” said Angela Petsche, the Outreach and Enrollment Coordinator at Crescent.

She explained the law allows many of their patients to have access to affordable health care.

”That is really important; you are not paying thousands of dollars per month for your health care,” Petsche added. “It is based on their income and household size, but now they have access to care.”

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