Durham couple helped by Affordable Care Act question ‘repeal and replace’

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DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — One of the first things Donald Trump has pledged to do as president is repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

It’s something Republicans in Washington have tried to overturn, without success, for years.

A Durham couple would be impacted if Trump follows through on his campaign promise.

As David Tedrow and his wife, Mary, get dinner ready he remembers a time when he wasn’t sure he’d be around to share in a moment like this.

“So, my life was saved by the Affordable Care Act,” said David Tedrow.

Tedrow takes 36 pills a day, including one that would cost about $6,000 a month out of pocket.

It all stems from when he was diagnosed with non-alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver.

He needed a transplant, but no insurer would cover him.

“Had I not been covered by the Affordable Care Act, by the policies that the Affordable Care Act provided for me, I would not be here,” he says.

The future of the ACA, also known as Obamacare, was a central piece of Donald Trump’s campaign.

Following his win Tuesday, Republican leaders in Congress said they’re ready to act.

“It’s a pretty high item on our agenda, as you know. And, I would be shocked if we didn’t move forward,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said.

But, exactly what those changes would be are unclear.

David worries what could happen to people like him with pre-existing conditions.

“And people with that situation will not get coverage, and that will be a death sentence,” Tedrow said.

Rising costs under the ACA have angered a lot of customers  and emboldened its opponents.

Just before the election, the Obama administration announced premiums would go up an average of 25 percent next year.

“This healthcare law is collapsing under its own weight,” said Republican House speaker Paul Ryan.

Mary Tedrow is also covered under an ACA policy.

She agrees there are problems with it.

“I think it needs to be fixed. Why do away with a program that’s helping so many people? It doesn’t make sense,” Mary Tedrow said.

“You cannot cut loose the millions of people that have actually obtained legitimate, good coverage,” David Tedrow said.

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