Health Care Protests Held in Atlanta after TrumpCare Passes U.S. House
(APN) ATLANTA — People have organized and held numerous protests throughout Metro Atlanta since the U.S. House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA or “TrumpCare”), an Orwellian-named bill that would gut numerous protections of the Affordable Care Act (“ObamaCare”).
On April 27, 2017, the U.S. House narrowly passed the AHCA, after President Donald Trump campaigned on a promise to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something beautiful, amazing, and magnificent.
217 Republicans supported the bill and no Democrats. Twenty Republicans opposed the bill.
The bill still must clear the U.S. Senate, where it is unlikely to pass in its current form.
Among the many changes the House version of the AHCA would make to our health care system, is it would allow states to allow insurance companies to charge people more for insurance if they have preexisting conditions.
This would undo the provision of Obamacare that currently requires insurance companies to cover people with preexisting conditions, and at the same rate as other customers.
In addition, the AHCA would roll back federal monetary support for Medicaid expansion.
Since Obamacare passed in 2010, most U.S. states–not including Georgia–had accepted federal dollars in exchange for expanding Medicaid eligibility, providing healthcare for millions of families across the U.S.
It is not immediately clear how states would deal with such a loss of funding, but generally the AHCA, if passed, would likely result in less health care for low-income people.
Republicans, and some centrist Democrats, still view healthcare as a commodity, not a right, with money still determining what type of health care one receives, if any at all.
The losers of this legislation, and this ideology: the most vulnerable in the county, poor people, older citizens who are not old enough for Medicare, people with pre-existing conditions, Medicaid recipients, Planned Parenthood, and everyone who can not afford healthcare insurance.
The winners are the rich, who of course will receive a tax break, and who can afford to buy expensive health care insurance.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has warned that thousands of people in the U.S. will die if the Republican health bill backed by Trump becomes law.
Hundreds of protests erupt across the county in response to this draconian Republican bill.
In Atlanta, on Tuesday, May 09, 2017, almost one thousand people rallied and marched in the streets chanting “Not One Step Back” and “Hands Off My Healthcare,” and making demands for a town hall meeting with U.S. Sens. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Perdue (R-GA).
“This is the worst bill for women in a generation. It makes rape, domestic violence, and pregnancy a pre-existing condition,” Staci Fox, President of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, told the crowd at the rally.
Professional organizations that have spoken against TrumpCare include: the American Nurses Association, American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, Association of American Medical Colleges, American Hospital Association, and Children’s Hospital Association, among other physician groups and all major hospital groups.
“We are sick and tired of this President and the majority in Congress casting aside the needs of those that are the most vulnerable among us. They have bowed down at the altar of selflessness, greed, and disrespect at the expense of those that are the most vulnerable,” Rev. Joshua Noblitt, Saint Mark’s United Methodist Church, Minister of Social Justice, said.
“A step back on healthcare is a step back on human and civil rights for Georgians. Healthcare should not be a partisan issue. The ACA has provided healthcare for 24 million Americans. We are calling for Senators Isakson and Perdue to give all Georgians quality healthcare, to fix the ACA, not to repeal and replace the ACA,” Gerald Griggs, Vice President of the NAACP Atlanta chapter, said.
The Congressional Budget Office found that if passed, TrumpCare would cut the federal budget deficit by 337 billion dollars, but would leave fourteen million in the U.S. without insurance next year.
Another nonpartisan analysis found that five million fewer people would be covered by Medicaid in 2018, and fourteen million fewer people would be covered by Medicaid by 2026.
As reported by Atlanta Progressive News for over eleven years, the only way to truly provide universal health care, cut the costs by removing profits and bureaucracy, and end the real death panels known as insurance companies, is to enact single payer or Medicare for all, as sought by U.S. Sen. Sanders.
For the first time, more than half of House Democrats, support the single payer proposal, H.R. 676, introduced each Congress by U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI).