Washington – Today Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-05), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, announced that his guest to the 2020 State of the Union will be Andrew Blackshear, a Benicia resident who lives with a pre-existing condition. Blackshear suffered from a health scare in 2015 that required two emergency surgeries, including open-heart surgery. The Affordable Care Act allowed him to purchase insurance and live without medical debt, despite his pre-existing condition. Blackshear’s story will highlight the need for protections for Americans like him who live with pre-existing conditions.
“I am honored to have Andrew join me for this year’s State of the Union and highlight the need for protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. He has turned his health scare and pre-existing condition into vital advocacy for patients like him, educating policy makers about the realities of living with this kind of medical condition,” said Thompson. “Andrew’s story is just one of many that demonstrates the value of the Affordable Care Act, legislation that allows him to purchase affordable medical coverage. We must all continue fighting against attempts to undo the ACA and the essential protections it provides for millions of Americans.”
"I, along with millions of Americans have felt the extreme lack of care inside of our healthcare system,” said Blackshear. “Our government holds the power to provide the changes that we need, and we need their support to make this system start working for us."
Benicia resident Andrew Blackshear is a patient and volunteer for the American Heart Association who has advocated for the importance of protections for patients with pre-existing conditions. Each year for the State of the Union address, Members of Congress can offer one ticket to a guest of their choosing. These slots are often used to highlight issues of importance to the American people.