Kathleen Chavez is a single mom, a small-business owner and an outspoken recipient of Medicaid who worries she may lose health insurance if congressional efforts to repeal Obamacare are successful.
A photo of Chavez, in heart-shaped sunglasses, her arm around her son, is printed on the side of the Drive for Our Lives bus, which stopped for a rally at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Sunday afternoon.
The bus is traveling to more than 20 states in a five-week tour “to tell the stories of the millions of Americans whose coverage was threatened under Congressional Republicans’ disastrous health care repeal bill and are still threatened by efforts to sabotage the Affordable Care Act,” according to a news release.
As a fashion designer whose home business fluctuates, Chavez said some years she is eligible for Medicaid only through the expansions. It has provided her and her 9-year-old son with great coverage, she said, and she looks forward to a day when her company is large enough to pay for her insurance.
“The goal of a business owner is always to expand your business, right?” Chavez said. “It’s like, I don’t want to be on Medicaid but I am. It’s nice to have the help, it’s nice to have the support, I don’t want the rug pulled out from under me.”
Chavez worries that Congress will cut Medicaid and end the expansion that made her eligible for health care. And on top of that, she worries that insurance providers won’t be required to cover people with pre-existing conditions, which she and her son both have.
She said she agreed to speak at Sunday’s event, in front of around 50 people, in hopes that her message would inspire others to contact their legislators.