Medicaid, immigration and the economy are expected to take center stage Tuesday evening when President Donald Trump gives his inaugural State of the Union address.
U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat who is running against Republican Rep. Lou Barletta in the upcoming midterm elections, is using Tuesday’s event to highlight the importance of maintaining a robust Medicaid program in the Keystone State.
He has invited Anna Corbin, a mother two from Hanover, Pennsylvania, whose sons were both diagnosed with Noonan syndrome, a genetic disorder that prevents normal development throughout the body. Patients typically experience heart defects, unusual facial features, bleeding disorders and skeletal malformations, according to the National Institutes of Health.
A full-time mother whose husband works in insurance, Corbin relies on Medicaid to pay for extensive medical care. Despite being able to afford private insurance, the Corbins raked up more than $40,000 in credit card debt.
“We were ready to lose our home,” she told Philly.com.
Earlier this month, Casey accused the Trump administration of having a “maniacal obsession” with taking affordable health care away from Americans. The White House has proposed imposing a work requirement for Medicaid recipients, but Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a similar measure introduced by state Republicans.
“It’s horrific that government officials are taking steps to erect barriers to prevent people from getting coverage,” he said in statement.
Meanwhile, fellow Democrat Rep. Dwight Evans, who represents Philadelphia, invited Commonwealth Victim Advocate Jennifer Storm to join him at the address.
“Sexual harassment is not an issue we as a nation can stand to take lightly or an action we can allow in any way,” he said. “Storm is a proud Pennsylvanian who truly is on the front lines of building a stronger tomorrow for each and every person in our neighborhoods.”
Storm represents the rights and interests of crime victims before the Board of Probation and Parole and the Department of Corrections. She also advocates for the interests of adult and juvenile crime victims throughout the state.
In New Jersey, U.S. Sen. Cory Booker invited 29-year-old New Jersey DACA recipient Elizabeth Vilchis. Her parents brought her to the U.S. from Puebla, Mexico, when she was 7-years-old to escape the economic crisis in their native country.
Vilchis always had a knack for STEM, and helped launched a logistics and tech start-up that has employed more than 900 part-time workers. She currently runs a nonprofit called latinoTech, which is dedicated to helping Latinx entrepreneurs access venture capital.
“Liz encapsulates everything that is right about this country,” Booker said. “She’s bright, hardworking, and is making a positive impact on her community each and every day.”
Last week, Trump said he would support a pathway to citizenship for 1.8 million undocumented immigrants who came to the U.S. as children. In exchange for a DACA deal, the White House outlined a list of demands that included a $25 billion "trust fund" for a border wall, an end to family reunification and an end to the diversity visa lottery.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates throughout the evening. NBC10 will livestream the State of the Union starting Tuesday at 9 p.m.