Press Releases

ACA Saved Her Life, Rep. Frankel’s Guest for Joint Session of Congress

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Washington, February 27, 2017 | comments

Today, Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-21) announced that Sherry Riggs, a Florida ACA beneficiary, will be her guest for President Trump’s Joint Session of Congress on Tuesday, February 28. A mother of three, she suffers from a life-threatening heart condition and would not be alive today without the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While in Washington, Riggs hopes to meet with Members of Congress and let them know what the ACA has meant to her and her family.

Riggs is a 55-year-old barber who, after raising her three kids, moved from Michigan to South Florida. Following her divorce two years ago Riggs, who suffers from a-fib heart problems, found her health deteriorating and discovered that she no longer had health insurance. Her attempts to get coverage that she could afford through the private market were unsuccessful until she discovered the Affordable Care Act Marketplace.  

The Affordable Care Act saved her life. Despite her serious pre-existing condition she was able to sign up for insurance for a small monthly payment. Five months after enrollment she suffered major heart attacks and underwent two surgeries, including an open-heart bypass. She is still recovering and unable to work full time. For affordable medication and continued care of her ongoing heart conditions, Riggs’s life depends on the ACA. 

“The Affordable Care Act saved my life twice and it continues to save it every day. I don’t know what I would do without it and it’s very frightening,” said Riggs.

“Sherry has an important message to bring to Washington, D.C. Without the Affordable Care Act, she would not be alive today,” said Frankel. “Congress owes it to the millions of folks like Sherry to build on the progress we’ve made, not tear it down.”

A repeal of the Affordable Care Act would rip away health insurance from roughly 20 million Americans in the first year and jeopardize enhanced benefits for 155 million people. 
In Florida:

  • More than 1.3 million individuals have signed up for plans under the ACA.
  • Seniors on Medicare have saved nearly $1,000 per year as a result of closing the prescription drug “donut hole” gap in coverage.
  • If ACA is repealed:
  • Approximately 3.1 million non-elderly Floridians who have pre-existing health conditions are at risk of having their coverage rescinded, being denied coverage, or being charged significantly more for coverage.
  • Approximately 7.3 million Floridians with private health coverage (including 1.4 million children) and 4 million Florida seniors on Medicare will lose guaranteed access to free preventive care.
  • 2.2 million Floridians could lose coverage entirely.


Frankel stands with individuals like Sherry Riggs to protect our care and fight against a reckless and dangerous repeal of the ACA.

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