I recently had the rare opportunity and honor to be Rep. Chellie Pingree’s guest for President Trump’s State of the Union address.

As a person with disabilities with multiple pre-existing conditions, I listened closely from the gallery as he claimed to protect health care access and to “always protect your Medicare.”

Both of these statements were false and misleading. Right now, his administration is suing to invalidate the Affordable Care Act and last week he released a budget proposal that cuts billions from Medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile, his administration is actively trying to turn Medicaid into a block grant program, which would endanger health care access for people with disabilities like me.

At the speech, it was hard to keep a straight face as President Trump said he’s working to lower prescription drug costs. He signed a tax bill that gave four pharmaceutical companies a windfall of $7 billion and he bragged that the legislation “essentially repealed Obamacare.” Let me tell you: That tax break for Big Pharma did nothing to lower my medical costs.

I’m grateful to members of the U.S. House, like Rep. Pingree, who’ve passed numerous bills to bring down medical costs and strengthen the ACA. Sadly, those bills are among the more than 400 just sitting in the Senate awaiting action. I wish this president and Senate Republicans would act with a sense of compassion and urgency because the health of millions is compromised by their inaction.

Kings Floyd

Cape Elizabeth

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