Durbin Highlights Naperville Family's Health Care Story As Second Day Of Supreme Court Nomination Hearing Begins

WASHINGTON – As the second day of the Supreme Court nomination hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett begins today, U.S. Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, shared the health care story of the Williams family from Naperville, Illinois, who have relied upon protections enshrined in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to access health care.  Cathy and Les Williams have four sons.  Their eldest, Matt, is 27 and was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes when he was 13.  Their three other sons were born with cystic fibrosis: Joey is now 24 years old and Mikey is 21.  Mikey’s twin, Tommy, passed away in January 2019 from complications related to cystic fibrosis.  The Williams have insurance coverage through Les’ employer, and thanks to the ACA, they have been allowed to keep their boys on their plan up to age 26, and maintain coverage—to afford expensive medications and doctor’s visits—without being discriminated against for their pre-existing conditions.

“The Affordable Care Act allows children to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, eliminated lifetime caps on care, and protects people with pre-existing conditions from being denied coverage or charged more. The Williams, like countless other Illinois families, have been able to access expensive medications and provide their children with the specialized care they need because of these essential ACA protections. This is what is at stake with this Supreme Court nomination.  We cannot allow Senate Republicans and President Trump to eliminate the health care the Williams family depends on,” Durbin said.

“Our boys have been fortunate to have access to specialized care.  That care has allowed us almost 20 years of cherished memories as a complete family.  Though grieving, we're grateful for that continued care for our other sons,” Cathy and Les Williams said. “We cannot imagine having to go through losing another child.  Our children absolutely need continued access to specialized care.  People with cystic fibrosis require daily medications and regular doctor’s visits and adequate and affordable, coverage—that means people with pre-existing conditions, like cystic fibrosis, cannot be discriminated against.  These protections also ensure a ban on annual and lifetime caps and enforce the requirement that insurers cover essential health benefits, such as hospitalizations or mental health services.  People with CF and other pre-existing conditions need adequate, affordable health care to live longer, healthier lives.”

Video of the Williams family sharing their story and the importance of the Affordable Care Act is available here.

A photo of the Williams family is available here.

Tens of millions of Americans with pre-existing conditions—including an estimated five million in Illinois—would lose protections if the ACA is eliminated. This includes the seven million Americans—and more than 300,000 Illinoisans—who have been diagnosed with COVID-19.