Home 2024 Elections Video: Ahead of Debate, VA State Senators Ghazala Hashmi and Aaron Rouse...

Video: Ahead of Debate, VA State Senators Ghazala Hashmi and Aaron Rouse Call Out Donald Trump, Rep. Jen Kiggans (R-VA02) and MAGA Republicans for Trying to Take Away Virginians’ Health Care

"Let’s be clear, Donald Trump is a threat to our freedom and reproductive rights"


From Protect Our Care:

Ahead of Debate, Hashmi and Rouse Call Out Trump, Kiggans and MAGA Republicans for Trying to Take Away Virginians’ Health Care

Leaders and advocates hold Trump and Kiggans accountable before debate and Trump’s June 28 rally in Hampton Roads

*Watch the event here*

Ahead of tonight’s presidential debate, Senate Education and Health Committee Chair Ghazala Hashmi (D-Chesterfield) and Senator Aaron Rouse (D-Virginia Beach) joined advocates, storytellers, and Protect Our Care Virginia to call out Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Jen Kiggans, and MAGA Republicans for their escalating attacks on health care.

Trump plans to hold a rally in Hampton Roads the day after the debate.

“For everyone who’s tuning into the debate tonight, I want you to know the clear differences between Joe Biden and Donald Trump when it comes to health care, and most especially reproductive health care,” said Senator Hashmi. “Donald Trump has appointed justices who overturned Roe v. Wade, and he continues to brag about the disastrous health care crisis that he has created across the country. Meanwhile, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been a brick wall for reproductive rights at the federal level, just as I and my fellow Democrats in the General Assembly have been a brick wall here at the state level.”

In addition to bragging about his role in overturning Roe v. Wade, Trump has said he is “looking at” restrictions on contraception.

“Check the scoreboard,” said Senator Rouse. “Democrats created the Affordable Care Act, which protected people with pre-existing conditions and let young people stay on their parents’ plans until they are 26. I have a 21-year old and he’s still on my plan. I know you all remember when the hot mic caught Joe Biden telling President Obama this is a BFD. You know what else is a BFD? The Inflation Reduction Act, again – passed by Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and Democrats in Congress – which is lowering health care premiums, lowering prescription drug costs for seniors on Medicare, and holding Big Pharma accountable for skyrocketing prescription drugs costs.”

Donald Trump has said that he would terminate” the Affordable Care Act, which would rip health care away from the 400,000 Virginians who bought coverage on the exchange and take away protections for pre-existing conditions. Both the Republican Study Committee and Project 2025 have called for the repeal of the Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions that are saving Medicare enrollees thousands of dollars on prescription drugs.

“Let’s be clear, Donald Trump is a threat to our freedom and reproductive rights. We are witnessing the chaos and cruelty caused by the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in the extreme abortion bans he supports and for which Trump proudly takes credit. Because of Trump, one in three women of reproductive age, plus many transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming people have lost access to abortion care in their states,” said Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia Executive Director Jamie Lockhart.

“When Congresswoman Kiggans and nearly the entire Republican House caucus voted for the Default on America Act, they voted to take Medicaid coverage away from people who do not meet work requirements, putting health coverage at risk for 21 million Americans and over 655,000 people in Virginia. The vote would have been particularly harmful for veterans, as it would have included a 22% cut to the Department of Veterans Affairs. That is a massive cut that would have put the health care of over 100,000 veterans in Virginia at risk,” said Affordable Virginia Campaign Director Emily Yeatts.

“Jen Kiggans has been a politician who has been in lockstep with Donald Trump when it comes to a myriad of legislation and political views that will set back health care benefits for Americans across the country, but in her case, for the citizens of Virginia Second Congressional District, specifically. Our veterans deserve more. They deserve better. They deserve access to care for themselves and their families because they put their lives on the lines to defend our country. And to have politicians like Jen Kiggans and Donald Trump engage in political theater and policies that are draconian and hurtful, is very disappointing,” said Maurice Hawkins, veteran of the United States Air Force and resident of Virginia Beach. “Tonight we need to make sure that we are paying attention to the differences between [Joe Biden] who wants to move America forward and make sure Americans have access to affordable health care and [Donald Trump] who wants to take America backwards and really make people’s lives more difficult.”

“Across Virginia, and I know through the rest of the U.S, there’s thousands of seniors like me benefiting from the Inflation Reduction Act. The out-of-pocket prescription costs are now at $3,300 a year, and I know that in 2025 they’re going down to $2,000 a year. That’s a life-changing amount if you’re on Social Security. But we need to understand that Joe Biden, Kamala Harris and the Democrats made this happen. Every Republican voted against the Inflation Reduction Act and what these prescription costs mean for us,” said Margaret Pierce, a Medicare enrollee and resident of Springfield who was able to retire thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act’s $35 cap on insulin.

“As we prepare to watch the first presidential debate tonight, and as we anticipate Donald Trump’s visit to Hampton Roads tomorrow, we thought it was important to take a moment to remind folks that the threat to health care is not hypothetical,” said Protect Our Care Virginia State Director Katie Baker. “MAGA Republicans told us they wanted to overturn Roe v. Wade, and they did. Donald Trump told us he wanted to terminate the Affordable Care Act and put restrictions on contraception. MAGA extremists told us they want to take away the Inflation Reduction Act’s prescription drug savings for seniors. They have left no room for mistake or misunderstanding: Republicans want to take your health care away.”

You can watch the full event here and learn more about Republican attacks on affordable health care here. You can view a side-by-side comparison of the records of President Biden and Donald Trump on health care here.

The debate will take place tonight at 9 p.m. in Atlanta.


Protect Our Care is dedicated to making high-quality, affordable and equitable health care a right, and not a privilege, for everyone in America. We educate the public, influence policy, support health care champions and hold politicians accountable. We fight to expand access to affordable, high-quality health insurance, lower the cost of health care for individuals and families, and reduce inequities in health care based on gender, income, race, ethnicity, geography, or sexual preference.


Sign up for the Blue Virginia weekly newsletter

Previous articleDEBATE COUNTDOWN: Those Who Know Trump Best Say He’s Unfit for the Presidency
Next articleDEBATE NIGHT: Biden-Harris 2024 To Air Powerful Ads During Commercial Breaks, Before and After Debate