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US Congresswoman Jackie Speier comments about Obamacare, Paralympics

File photo of Jackie Speier (D-CA), Member of the United States House of Representatives Image: United States Congress.

With the 2014 Winter Paralympics set for March, Wikinews sought comment from U.S. RepresentativeJackie Speier, who serves California’s 14th congressional district about the event and how current U.S. policies impact people with disabilities. Elected to the U.S. House in 2008, she serves on the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Armed Services Committee. For the first time ever, the Paralympics will be broadcast live in the U.S. on network television.


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Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png: Will “ObamaCare” have a positive or negative impact on the lives of people with disabilities?

Jackie Speier: By-and-large the Affordable Care Act will have a significant and lasting beneficial impact on persons with disabilities […] Most importantly, pre-existing conditions will no longer prevent persons with disabilities from obtaining health insurance. Lifetime limits on medical expenses will be removed and preventive services will be free. All of these provisions of the law create health insurance that is highly supportive of good health outcomes for everyone, but in particular for those who have a disability.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png: Are there any Paralympic athletes or elite athletes with disabilities from your district that people should know more about?

Jackie Speier: There are currently two Paralympic athletes who train or live in my district that people will definitely hear more about in the coming years. One is a young woman named Allie Hyatt who trains in Judo with Willy Cahill, [whom] I have also trained with. Allie, who is visually impaired and just 15, has already won numerous awards and will participate in the Youth Olympic Games next year. She is sure to be a force in the Judo world for many, many years. Hyatt lives in San Francisco and Cahill is the founder and CEO of the Blind Judo Foundation.

Another great athlete is Mohamend Lahna who is training for the Rio Olympics in 2016 for the paratriathlon,” Speier continued. “He is from Morocco originally but lives now in San Mateo and trains daily at the College of San Mateo. He runs marathons with a prosthetic leg and has his sights set on winning several medals atworld and Olympic events in the future. Lahna has proximal femoral focal deficiency (PFFD), a birth defect that affects the hip and pelvis. He is married and has a 1-year-old child.

Wikinews also sought comment from other members of Congress, including John K. DelaneyMike HondaKyrsten SinemaEric SwalwellRaúl M. Grijalva and Ann Kirkpatrick but at publication time, had received no response.

All text created after September 25, 2005 available under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5License, unless otherwise specified.   Originally published on English Wikinews

Laura Hale
About Laura Hale (2533 Articles)
Laura Hale is a sport journalist, specializing in Paralympic and disability sport news. Prior to helping found ParaSport-News, she spent two and a half years working as a journalist on Wikinews, a citizen journalism site. As a journalist, she has covered the 2012 Summer Paralympics in London, the 2013 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships in La Molina, the 2014 Winter Paralympics in Sochi, and a number of other sporting events. She has additional experience with Paralympic sport having worked as a Wikipedian in Residence for the Australian and Spanish Paralympic Committees.

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