Hundreds attend rally for Affordable Care Act in Sunrise

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Washington, DC, January 16, 2017 | comments
About 300 South Floridians joined people across the country to show their support for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. At the Sunrise Civic Center Amphitheater, speakers recounted how the health insurance program helped them. "We're here to say that we're not going down without a fight," said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, who was joined at the stage in Sunrise by fellow representatives Alcee Hastings, D-West Delray, and Ted Deutch, D-West Boca.
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Sun-Sentinel

Hundreds attend rally for Affordable Care Act in Sunrise

About 300 South Floridians joined people across the country to show their support for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

At the Sunrise Civic Center Amphitheater, speakers recounted how the health insurance program helped them.

"Everything just kinda collapsed," said Suzanne Boyd, referring to being dropped by her insurance company in the middle of her struggle with lymphoma. "Stem cell treatments and radiation ... I needed a lifeline.

"If I did not have that opportunity, I don't know what would have happened," Boyd said.

There were similar scenes throughout the U.S. on Sunday, including in West Palm Beach, Los Angeles and in Michigan, organizers said.

The 2010 law provides health insurance for approximately 20 million Americans. It is under threat of repeal by a Republican-led Congress and President-elect Donald Trump, who has vowed a swift end to his predecessor's signature legislation which passed without a single Republican vote.

Affordable Care Act rally

The health law has provided subsidies and Medicaid coverage for millions who don't get insurance at work. It has required insurers to cover certain services such as family planning and people who are already ill, and has placed limits on the amount that the sick and elderly can be billed for health care.

Republicans want to end the fines that enforce the requirement that many individuals buy coverage and that larger companies provide it to workers. They'd like to expand health savings accounts, erase the taxes Obama's law imposed on higher-income people and the health care industry, eliminate the subsidies that help people buy policies and pare back its Medicaid expansion.

Congress last week began the process of repealing it using a budget maneuver that requires a bare majority in the Senate. But Republicans face internal disagreements on how to pay for any replacement and how to protect consumers and insurers during a long phase-in of an alternative.

Opponents say the law has dramatically increased insurance premiums and has had other negative consequences in the health-care market. Supporters argue it has been nothing less than a life-saver, allowing people with pre-existing conditions to get the vital care they need and extending coverage to those who could otherwise not afford coverage.

"We're here to say that we're not going down without a fight," said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, who was joined at the stage in Sunrise by fellow representatives Alcee Hastings, D-West Delray, and Ted Deutch, D-West Boca.

Wasserman Schultz, who was been a vocal proponent of the Affordable Care Act, said its extension of coverage should be considered a civil right and that repealing it "would counter our most basic American values."

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/fl-affordable-care-act-rallies-20170115-story.html

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