Hundreds rally for health care in Portland
Supporters of the Affordable Care Act closed down Congress Street in Portland on Sunday as a crowd of hundreds overflowed the plaza in front of City Hall. Representative Chellie Pingree and local elected and community leaders spoke out for preserving the federal health care law and health coverage for 20 million Americans.
“What Republicans are trying to do to the nation’s health care system is appalling. It’s bad enough that repealing the Affordable Care Act threatens the health care that millions of Americans have accessed through it—as well as the economic benefits of reducing uncompensated care at hospitals and helping small businesses get coverage,” said Pingree in a statement. “But to do so without a plan for replacing it shows a gross lack of interest in addressing the country’s real health care problems.”
While an initial budget resolution vote paved the way for repeal without any proposal to replace important provisions of the Act, there will be more votes in the U.S. Senate before the law’s fate is determined. Health care advocates in Maine are hoping Senator Susan Collins will reverse her position and vote to preserve the law. An estimated 95,000 Mainers would lose coverage without a comparable replacement plan in place.
At the rally, Portland restaurateur Andrew Volk, co-owner with his wife of Hunt + Alpine and Little Giant, spoke about what the Act has meant for their business and their family after medical complications during the birth of their child.
“Luckily we were covered by the Affordable Care Act. Without the ACA we would have been without insurance and possibly without life-saving care.” said Volk. “Without it, we would not have been able to open our newest business, which will create another 40 jobs here in Maine.”
Watch video of the entire rally here.
Photo via Andi Parkinson.
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