Seymour mother testifies at U.S. Senate committee hearing

Posted at 10:41 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-13 23:41:21-04

A Seymour family is sharing their story of a recent trip to Washington, D.C. to testify about pre-existing condition coverage from the Affordable Care Act.

When Chelsey Schaumberg was 24-weeks pregnant, she found out her daughter, Zoe, would be born with a congenital heart defect. Zoe needed open heart surgery when she was just five-days-old.

“Panic and then fear, and then wondering do we bring her home?” recalled Chelsey. 

After years of doctor’s appointments, her mother said she's now doing okay.

“I mean anytime something is wrong, you just start panicking. And you think oh God, something is wrong with her heart,” said Chelsey. 

Chelsey said future surgeries can never be ruled out. So after seeing proposed repeals of the Affordable Care Act, which in part states insurers cannot deny coverage to someone with a pre-existing condition like Zoe’s, Chelsey wrote a letter to Sen. Tammy Baldwin, explaining Zoe's story.

“She didn't ask for this. She didn't choose this. I did nothing wrong, we just got thrown these cards,” said Chelsey.

And because of Chelsey’s letter, Sen. Baldwin invited the Schaumberg Family to Washington, D.C. to testify at a senate committee hearing.

“The people who are protected by this are some of the ones that need health coverage most. We are counting on you to safeguard that right and protect the American Dream for Zoe and for the thousands of other people like her,” said Chelsey at the hearing in August. 

Chelsey said she wants to make sure her daughter and others are protected.

“To hear all of the other witness testimonies, it was just heartbreaking to hear what they've gone through as well,” she said.