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Gov. Whitmer focuses on health care in response to Trump's State of the Union

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Posted at 6:13 AM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 06:13:29-05

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer focused on the nation's healthcare system in her response to President Donald Trump's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Gov. Whitmer's office released early excerpts ahead of her response.

She began her response by reflecting on a time when she was caring for her newborn baby and her mother, who nearing the end of her fight with brain cancer.

"I was up all night with a baby and during the day, I had to fight my mom's insurance company when they wrongly denied her coverage for chemotherapy," Gov. Whitmer said. "It was hard. It exposed the harsh realities of our workplaces, our healthcare system, and our child care system. And it changed me. I lost my patience for people who play games instead of solve problems."

In her response, Gov. Whitmer said that she has worked with a Republican governor and legislature to expand healthcare coverage to more than 680,000 Michiganders under the Affordable Care Act.

"It's pretty simple. Democrats are trying to make your health care better. Republicans in Washington are trying to take it away," Gov. Whitmer said.

In her response, the governor said it doesn't matter what President Trump says in regards to the stock market. She said what matters is that millions of people are struggling to make ends meet, not having enough money left over at the end of the month after paying for things like transportation, student loans, or prescription drugs.

"American workers are hurting. In my own state, our neighbors in Wisconsin, and Ohio and Pennsylvania. All over the country. Wages have stagnated, while CEO pay has skyrocketed," Gov. Whitmer said.

In her response, the governor went on to talk about how inspired she was by young people for responding to tragedies like mass shootings and demanding policies to make school safer.

"They react to a world that's literally on fire with fire in their bellies to push leaders to finally take action on climate change," Gov. Whitmer said. "They take on a road filled with potholes with a shovel and some dirt."

The governor said 2020 is a big year, alluding to the importance of voting.

"It's the year my daughter Sherry will graduate from high school. It's also the year she'll cast her first ballot along with millions of young Americans. The two things are connected. Because walking across the graduation stage is as important as walking into the voting booth for the first time."

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