Obamacare allowed Santa Clarita girls to get crucial treatments, family says

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- Millions of people have used Obamacare including a family from Santa Clarita, who say without it, their two young daughters would not have received the care they desperately needed.

The debate over health care has consumed American politics for years and is now peaking as Republicans push the American Health Care Act through Congress.

However, "repeal and replace," the mantra for eliminating Obamacare, strikes some as irresponsible.

Robert Ashe has company-provided insurance, but he wasn't always that lucky.

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In 2010, his daughter Elliot was born with a rare condition that kept all of her joints from flexing.

Ashe had just lost his job and was on COBRA insurance. But when he found a new job, the insurance refused to cover Elliot.

"It's due to a pre-existing condition because I was on a different coverage plan," Ashe said.

But then Obamacare went into effect and Ashe's daughter began getting the surgeries, therapy and equipment needed to get her walking.

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It also covered the Ashe's family's adopted daughter Fiona, who lost a leg but received an artificial one.

"None of this would have been possible without the Affordable Care Act," said Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Van Nuys) as he spoke about the Ashe family in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday night.

It came during a marathon session debating the proposed Obamacare replacement.

"These are real people ladies and gentlemen, and this is just one story of the 129 million people who will be put back at the mercy of insurance companies of being denied coverage by today's bill," Cardenas said.

Meanwhile, Ashe isn't worried about his own insurance coverage, but he is concerned the coverage his daughters will have throughout their rest of their lives may be watered down.

His question: Why can't politicians build upon what's already working?

"Obamacare is not a failure. It's not an A-plus success either. It's somewhere in the middle," Ashe said. "Does it needs fixed? Absolutely. But why isn't it being fixed? Why do we have to start over?"
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