Michiganders made their voices heard in support of the Affordable Care Act.
Despite it being a work day — with temperatures below freezing — nearly 200 constituents of Michigan Congressman Dave Trott and other concerned citizens rallied in front of his Troy office to oppose repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare.
Protesters bearing signs made a bold visual statement along Big Beaver Road, a very busy thoroughfare on a Monday at lunchtime. Organizers Mona DeQuis and Lauren Else, working in conjunction with Organizing for Action, lined up speakers, passed out petitions and had constituents of Rep. Trott sign a letter showing their support for the ACA, which was delivered to his staff by four protesters after the rally.
The speakers included our friend Charles Gaba of ACASignups.net, who educated the gathering about the stark realities of repeal: An estimated 66,000 Michigan residents in the 11th Congressional District represented by Trott alone would lose coverage. About 878,000 across Michigan would lose coverage. Nationwide, about 12 to 14 million would lose their coverage under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion program; another estimated 10 million would lose the coverage they get through HealthCare.gov. He also reminded everyone that they have until midnight on January 31 to sign up for 2017 coverage.
Other speakers told their personal stories of how important having health insurance is to their lives, including Ed Weberman. He and his son — who was diagnosed with cancer at age 22 and would not have had insurance if it wasn’t for the ACA — were profiled here at Eclectablog.
I shared my own personal story, too, and urged those in attendance to tell theirs to their elected officials. I asked them to demand the truth from their representatives — and call them out when they lie. A letter I received from my Congressman, Dave Trott, said that the ACA “does little to actually protect patients.” The fact is that the ACA prevents insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions, capping how much they’ll pay and dropping someone who gets sick, just to name three of the many patient protections in the law.
Also on Monday, a similar rally was held at the office of Congressman Mike Bishop in Brighton.
I agree with former President Obama, who issued a statement saying he was “heartened” by the many Americans making their voices heard. It does my heart good, too.
But we can’t stop now. Keep showing up and keep being heard in every way you can. If you want to get involved with Organizing for Action, check out their website HERE.
Contact your Representative in the U.S. Congress HERE and your U.S. Senator HERE. Urge them to vote against repealing the ACA unless a replacement plan with the same level of coverage and consumer protections is enacted at the same time.
Here are a few more photos from the rally, taken by me unless otherwise noted.
Photo of organizers Mona DeQuis and Lauren Else by Jill Farber-Bramson.
Photo by Emily Polet-Monterosso.