Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) will be joined by San Diego resident Charley McMahon and her mother, Stefani, for the State of the Union. Rep. Peters invited Charley and Stefani to highlight how important the increased access to affordable health care made possible by the Affordable Care Act is to families in San Diego and around the country.

Charley was four years old when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Like many middle-class families across the United States, the McMahons were not just worried about the health of their young child, but also about whether their health insurance would cover the astronomical costs of future treatments Charley would need to survive. Stefani is a hairdresser and her husband works for a small business that does not provide healthcare. 

Rep. Peters with Charley and Stefani McMahon at a press conference in 2017.

The McMahon’s were only able to afford Charley's treatment because of the affordable health care rates provided by Covered California, the state health insurance marketplace established under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), which was signed into law in March 2010. Thanks to the care she received under the ACA, Charley is now seven years old, in first grade, and is cancer-free.

“I am honored to bring Charley and Stefani to this year's State of the Union,” said Rep. Peters. "Parents like Stefani should never worry about the possibility of bankruptcy while fighting to save their child’s life. Without access to the coverage offered under the ACA, the McMahons would have owed a quarter of million dollars in out-of-pocket health care fees within the first six months of Charley's treatment. The average cost of a stay in a hospital for a child with cancer is $40,000, alone. Unfortunately, the unimaginable stress the McMahon family faced is not unlike the daily struggles others are challenged with around the nation.”

During a 27-hour Energy and Commerce Committee markup of the Republican health care repeal bill in 2017, Rep. Peters spoke about the McMahon family’s experience and how provisions within the ACA helped lighten the major financial burden of Charley’s treatments. Rep. Peters also attended a press conference with the McMahons the same year to shed light on what devastating effects such a repeal would cause.

“Despite the president's promises to strengthen our country's health care system, the current administration has failed the American people. President Trump's first act in power was to attempt to repeal the ACA without a replacement, which would have left Charley and millions of others without life-saving care. Since then, President Trump's Justice Department has maintained its assault on access to healthcare, and filed its latest brief in a lawsuit to erase pre-existing health protections just last week. His office announced on Thursday that it wants give states the option of reducing health benefits for residents who gained coverage through programs under the ACA, which is exactly the opposite of what families need.

"Unlike the president, I came to Washington ready to protect what is working with the Affordable Care Act, fix what isn’t, and improve our healthcare system. The House has advanced several important, bipartisan bills to expand access to healthcare and to make it more affordable. I urge the president to stop threatening the health care Americans depend on, and join us to make constructive changes that would help families across the country like the McMahons."