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Albemarle Couple Joins in on Lawsuit Against Trump

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Bonnie Morgan (left) and Steve Vondra (right). Bonnie Morgan (left) and Steve Vondra (right).
The 146-page complaint against the Trump Administration. The 146-page complaint against the Trump Administration.
Bonnie Morgan, plaintiff. Bonnie Morgan, plaintiff.

A couple in Albemarle County is part of big lawsuit against the Trump Administration for its handling of healthcare.

Steve Vondra and his wife Bonnie Morgan depended on the Affordable Care Act for years. The couple is retired and has been living off their savings, which until recently has not been a problem. 

Now, the couple is paying nearly triple what they previously were for healthcare.

“This came upon us and it changed our whole lives, to be honest,” Morgan said.

Before the Affordable Care Act, Vondra was unable to get insurance. According to Vondra, this was because the insurance companies said he had a preexisting condition in that fact that he was overweight and they would not cover him for anything related to his weight.

Insurance provider Anthem pulled out of the market due to uncertainty from the Trump Administration, leading to spiked rates from the remaining provider, Optima. 

Under the ACA, the couple was paying just over $1,000 a month for healthcare and for Vondra to receive the pills he needs to stay in good health. Now, they are paying more than $3,300 for less coverage.

“We had to drop down to a bronze plan, which more than doubled our deductible and of course increased the cost,” said Vondra, who is now paying more than $38,000 a year in healthcare.

Vondra said the couple is considering leaving the area, but before they do, they are taking one last chance at making a change.

“You kind of budget your life…your retirement, and we’ve done that well,” Morgan said. “We cut back on our outings, on our vacations, on what we can give to the kids and it’s made a huge difference.”

The lawsuit includes people from five different cities around the country who are in similar situations. Together, they filed a 146-page federal complaint, arguing that President Trump and his administration are sabotaging the Affordable Care Act and increasing healthcare prices.

“It’s a horrendous situation and the thing is, it’s not only us that are affected,” Morgan said. “There are a lot of people affected by this.”

Vondra said he and many others hope a court will find the president has violated procedure and order the administration to enforce the ACA.

“They couldn’t get it overturned in Congress, so they’re going to try every little backdoor route they can do,” Vondra said.

The lawsuit was filed on August 2 in the U.S. District Court in Maryland. If granted, steps to restore the ACA would include items such as extending the 2019 enrollment period and promoting available health insurance for people and families with preexisting conditions.

Copy of Filed Complaint: