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Protestors urge Republican Congressman not to repeal the Affordable Care Act

Protestors stand outside U.S. Congressman Dave Trott's office in Troy.
Bryce Huffman
Michigan Radio
Protestors stand outside U.S. Congressman Dave Trott's office in Troy.

About 40 protestors rallied outside Republican Congressman David Trott's office in Troy Tuesday, holding signs that read "Don't Take My Medicare or Medicaid."

The protestors urged Trott to think twice about repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Trott is in favor of repealing Obamacare. He says there should be more competition among insurance providers, which he says would mean lower costs for Michigan residents. 

He explains his opposition to the healthcare law onhis website:

Rising health care costs pose a significant challenge for families and job providers in Southeast Michigan. Unfortunately, President Obama’s health care law has not helped. Instead, the law has placed the federal government between patients and doctors and has increased costs and taxes on the American people. A top-down, Washington-centered approach to health care does not work. Rep. Trott has voted to repeal Obamacare and he supports replacing it with common sense, patient-centered reforms that will actually lower health care costs and improve access to care. By empowering patients and doctors—rather than federal bureaucrats—we can strengthen the doctor/patient relationship and make health care more affordable for everyone.

Despite his opposition, Trott does want to keep parts of Obamacare, like letting children stay on their parents' policies until age 26.

Erik Shelley is with Michigan United, the group that organized the protest. He said Rep. Trott needs to see that his constituents are worried about losing their health coverage.

“Representative Trott has to realize the danger in repealing the Affordable Care Act without having something that's [going to] take its place and serve all the people that risk losing their health insurance,” Shelley said.

If Obamacare is repealed without a comparable plan to replace it, nearly a million people in Michigan could lose their health insurance coverage. About 30 million people across the U.S. could lose coverage.

Shelley said Medicare and Medicaid also look to take “a big hit” if Obamacare is repealed.

“We really have to have [a Medicare or Medicaid system] as sort of the bedrock of our healthcare in the United States,” he said.

Julia Galliker, a volunteer with Michigan United, said she doesn’t like how healthcare is being discussed.

“I'm appalled and concerned about the direction of discourse concerning healthcare in this country,” Galliker said.

Galliker’s biggest concern with the Republican Party’s desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act is the lack of a concrete plan for what should follow it.

“I’m a parent of three, and I kind of insist that my children all have a plan, whether it’s a plan for college or getting a job,” she said. “And it appalls me that legislators, after seven years of vicious partisan rhetoric about the Affordable Care Act have no real plan for [replacing it]. Repeal and replace is not a plan.”

There was one Republican in favor of repealing Obamacare at the protest, and it wasn’t Representative Trott, who was away from his office during the protest. It was Charles Blankenship.

Blankenship wants President-elect Donald Trump to know he has supporters in this state when it comes to his plans to repeal significant portions of the Affordable Care Act.

“I don’t like Obamacare,” Blankenship said. “I want it repealed and replaced, and I understand that there is a real need for healthcare, and we need to be very compassionate, and that we need to make a very reasoned, calculated decision about what we do.”

Shelley said this protest was one of about 80 that took place across the country today in efforts to get members of Congress to consider what is at stake if the Affordable Care Act is repealed before a well thought out replacement plan is finalized.

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