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VA Woman Voices "Obamacare" Support at U.S. Supreme Court

March 28, 2012

WASHINGTON - Today, on this third and final day of the Supreme Court hearings on the Affordable Care Act, a coalition will be at the courthouse steps to share personal stories and show support for keeping the law intact.

The court this afternoon takes up the portion of the new law which would expand Medicaid. Linda Christenson, a retired teacher from Arlington, will share her story about how Medicaid helped her and her husband, who suddenly found themselves caring for their 14-year-old granddaughter.

"She had no medical insurance whatever, because her parents had lost both their jobs, and she came with a pre-existing condition. The medication for it was outrageously expensive."

Christenson says she and her husband live on a fixed income, and were not allowed to add their granddaughter to their health plan. She adds that this was the first time she has had to rely on Medicaid, and credits the program with saving the family from severe financial distress.

"We believe it's important to speak up, because we are appalled that anyone in government is trying to cut the safety net out from under people who need help, or who might need help."

A host of others are expected to speak at the event, which begins at 8:30 a.m.

Under the new law, Medicaid would be expanded to cover more people. States involved in the lawsuit, including Virginia, object to the added cost - although supporters say the federal government would cover most of it. The high court's decisions in the case are not expected before June.

Monique Coppola, Public News Service - VA