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Activists try to make health care coverage an issue in November election

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

As Michigan voters prepare to go to the polls next month, outside groups are working to sway voters.

Michiganders are beset by political ads on TV, junk mail and online messages. Add a big blue bus to the list.

The Protect Our Care bus visited Lansing and Flint to promote Democratic candidates and recent Democratic-sponsored health care laws.

Cancer survivor Laura Packard is a University of Michigan graduate who now lives in Denver, Colorado. She has become a prominent health care advocate.

Packard is spending 20 weeks this fall traveling from city to city by bus. This past week, she spoke at stops in Lansing and Flint. Packard said she worries what will happen if Republicans win back control of Congress.

"I was home recovering from chemo while Republicans in the U.S. House were voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which was saving my life,” said Packard.

Packard noted that Congressional Republicans tried to repeal Obamacare. She expects, if they regain power in November, they will try again.

But a Republican National Committee spokeswoman criticized the bus campaign.

RNC spokeswoman Preya Samsundar claimed the bus campaign is a distraction. She said Democrats are failing to offer real solutions to skyrocketing costs, while parading what she calls out-of-control spending and inflation-inducing legislation.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.