Charlotte mom on witness list to testify in Amy Coney Barrett hearings

Charlotte mother to testify on ACA

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A mother from Charlotte will be testifying in the Supreme Court nomination hearings for Amy Coney Barrett and she says “the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

Stacy Staggs has twin daughters with pre-existing conditions.

“My daughter Emma has an artificial airway, where she breathes through," she explains, "it’s called a tracheostomy tube in her throat.”

Both of Staggs' daughters were born premature. Staggs says its lead to multiple disabilities, uncovered as they’ve grown up - and their insurance claims topping $4 million.

“Their lives have been saved by the protections of the Affordable Care Act,” Staggs said. "What that also means is that their lives are at risk if the Affordable Care Act is overturned.”

On Thursday, Staggs will be wearing two hats - one as a mom, the other as a witness - testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“If the Affordable Care Act is overturned, it opens the door for insurance companies to revert back to the pre ACA days, when they could prevent someone from eligibility because of pre existing conditions,” she said.

Staggs fears if Judge Amy Coney Barrett is confirmed, she could try to overturn the Affordable Care act, which Staggs says means millions could lose their coverage altogether or the prices for life-saving care could go up.

Both Tuesday and Wednesday, Barrett repeatedly told the Senate she has made no commitments about how she would decide any case, including the Affordable Care Act.

“I have had no conversation with the president or any of his staff on how I might rule in that case,” said Barrett Tuesday. “It would be a gross violation of judicial independence for me to make any such commitment or for me to be asked about that case and how I would rule.”

In Charlotte last month, the Trump administration announced people with pre-existing conditions would be protected under the President’s healthcare plan.

Staggs says her testimony Thursday isn’t just a voice for her family, but the millions others who also live their reality.

“I’ll be the one who’s talking," she said, "but I’m bringing with me all the families that are in similar circumstances.”

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