Underwood Welcomes Karen Battaglia to Washington, D.C. for the State of the Union

February 4, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON— Today, Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) welcomed Antioch nurse Karen Battaglia to Washington, D.C. for the President’s State of the Union address. Underwood selected Battaglia because of her service and dedication to providing care for underserved and vulnerable people in her community. In addition to being a nurse, Battaglia has a preexisting condition and is at risk of losing quality, affordable health care if the Trump Administration is successful in its efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"Karen is a dedicated nurse who has spent her career working to improve the lives and health of thousands of people in northern Illinois. For Karen and so many other Illinoisans living with a preexisting condition, tonight’s State of the Union comes at a crucial time. Her care and the care of her patients is under threat every day under this Administration,” said Underwood. “I’m so honored that when President Trump looks our way during the State of the Union, he’ll see not one, but two nurses with preexisting conditions who are fiercely fighting for their community.”

“As a trauma nurse for more than 20 years and one of the many living with a preexisting condition, I know all too well what is at stake if the Affordable Care Act’s crucial protections are stripped away. Every day, I see the positive impacts of the Affordable Care Act reflected in the care I’m able to provide to improve the lives of my patients. It’s so important that Congress and the President work together to help protect the health care of millions of Americans. The state of our health care system and the lives of so many Americans depend on it,” said Battaglia.

Photos of the meeting can be found here.

Battaglia lives with a preexisting condition, asthma. Battaglia and several members of her family are among the 5,417,600 Illinoisans—like Underwood— who live with a preexisting condition and are at risk of losing their health care coverage if the Trump Administration succeeds in its relentless efforts to repeal the ACA. Battaglia has previously shared her story with Underwood discussing the challenges she faced in accessing care with a preexisting condition before the ACA. Under her health care plan, she faced high out-of-pocket costs for asthma medications and maternity care. Battaglia emphasizes repealing the ACA would have devastating impacts for her, her sons, and grandson who also have asthma.