Google Ventures partner shares tragic story about his child’s battle with a pre-existing condition

While the GOP races to see if they can secure the votes to pass the Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act, aka “TrumpCare,” more people are adding their voices to the call for the bill’s defeat.

The bill, if passed, would have a profound and devastating impact on the poor, elderly, and people with disabilities via cuts to Medicaid and would endanger coverage for those with pre-existing conditions while giving massive tax cuts to the wealthy.

Among those opposing the bill is Ken Norton, a former product manager at Google who is now a partner at Google Ventures.

On Monday, Norton shared a heartbreaking thread on Twitter that centered around his son Riley, who died as a result of a heart defect in 2014 and how the 11-year-old’s story applied to the current health care bill debate.

“Heres the thing: there are no ‘healthy’ and ‘sick’ people. Healthy people can turn into sick people really fucking suddenly,” Norton wrote on Twitter.

His public story about personal tragedy brings to mind Jimmy Kimmel’s own take on the health care debate, which he discussed on air last month while sharing the story of his infant son’s difficult birth.

Read Norton’s full Twitter thread:

Just a few hours after Norton shared his story, the Congressional Budget Office announced its findings that 22 million people would lose their health insurance by 2026 15 million of those by 2018 under the Senate’s proposed bill.

Speaking to Mashable, Norton said, “I’ve had it in the back of my mind to share for a while, but hadn’t been able to make the leap. The final straw came from reading [Republican Wisconsin Senator] Ron Johnson’s comments over the weekend comparing having a preexisting condition with being a bad driver.”

Whereas Johnson used an absolutely terrible analogy to defend his position, Norton’s story highlights the dangers of removing protections for those with pre-existing conditions and how suddenly illness can strike and affect anyone.

Read more:

Ron Johnson compares People with preexisting conditions to somebody who crashes their car

Ron Johnson (R-WI) suggested on Sunday that people with pre-existing conditions deserved to pay more for insurance because they were like cars that had been involved in an automobile accident.
During an interview on Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd noted that Republicans in the Senate had held no hearings on their health care bill and so they could not say for sure why insurance companies were abandoning some markets.

Johnson sidestepped the refusal to hold hearings and insisted that he already knows the answer “but nobody wants to talk about it.”

The Wisconsin Republican pointed to Obamacare rules that forbid insurance companies from charging more for people with preexisting conditions.

“We know why those premiums doubled,” he opined. “We’ve done something with our health care system that you would never think about doing, for example, with auto insurance, where you would require auto insurance companies to sell a policy to somebody after they crash their car.”

“States that have… guarantees for preexisting conditions, it crashes their markets,” he continued. “It causes the markets to collapse. It causes premiums to skyrocket.”