President Trump and Vice President Pence both recently met with victims of Obamacare to hear the real story of the health care law’s impact on families across the country.
Among those who have struggled with Obamacare are Marjorie and Kevin Weer and their 3-year-old son, Montgomery-- or Monty --who was born with spina bifida, a birth defect that prevents the spine from growing correctly.
The Weer family met with President Donald Trump this week, who later delivered a speech highlighting the “real American families” who face challenges with Obamacare.
“Washington Democrats promised families like the Weers that if they liked their doctor they could keep their doctor,” President Trump said. “More Obamacare lies.”
Before this, the Weers visited Vice President Mike Pence in June to share their son’s story -- a story she first shared with Melissa Quinn, a reporter for The Daily Signal.
It was Quinn’s story that first alerted the White House to the family’s struggles with Obamacare.
Quinn, who recently joined the Washington Examiner as a breaking news reporter, said the Weers’ story traces back to Nina Owcharenko, the former director of the Heritage's Center for Health Policy Studies, who received an email from a woman who connected them with Marjorie Weer.
Under Obamacare, the Weer family, of South Carolina, has had three health insurance plans with two different companies since Monty was born in 2014.
Quinn reported that Monty’s options for doctors grew slim and the family’s situation worsened when BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina prevented Monty from seeing providers outside of their home state.
But Monty needed to see a neurology specialist in Boston for a crucial medical test that determined his neurological functioning. This setback is what lead to the family’s longstanding battle with Obamacare that brought her to the White House.
“Ultimately, Marjorie was able to get BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina to come around and cover Monty's care at a children's hospital in Boston that best fit his needs, so the story had a happy ending,” Quinn said. “I think their change of heart was a testament to her devotion to her children and her perseverance in making sure Monty got the best care possible.”
That devotion to her family is what sparked interest from the Vice President’s office, who called Weer a week before her visit to ask her and Monty to join the Vice President in a listening session with other families with Obamacare battles like theirs.
“I think one of the chief complaints from special-needs families is that we seldom feel like we are truly being heard taken seriously or we are being patronized when someone finally does listen to us,” Weer said. “So to have the ears of the Vice President was huge. Mr. Pence gave us his attention and empathy.”
Weer continued by saying The Daily Signal helped shed light on American families like hers, and their battle with Obamacare.
“The stories that aren't told by the mainstream media are the ones like ours, and millions of others, where choice of providers has been limited to keep costs down and deductibles have skyrocketed,” Weer said.
Quinn said she was glad The Daily Signal was able to share the Weers’ story which eventually ended in getting BlueCross Blue Shield to cover the care Monty that best fits needs.
“The Weers' story also, I think, showed exactly how the policies and decisions our lawmakers here in DC make directly impact families living thousands of miles away.”
To learn more about Monty’s story and the Weers’ fight for his care, read Quinn’s article here.
This story was updated to recount President Trump's visit with the Weer family in addition to Vice President Pence's visit.