Exactly six months after election day, people gathered at the Rhode Island State House to rally against the AHCA (American Health Care Act aka TrumpCare). The protest was organized by the Women’s March on Washington Rhode Island Chapter.
“Today,” said organizer Nancy Rafi, “as legislators return to their home offices, they need to hear what we think about the House voting to legalize discrimination, and making us all pre-existing conditions.”
After Rafi spoke there was an open mic, where people were asked to explain what the loss of health care means to them.
The effect on women, with the elimination of the ACA’s ban on “gender rating” means that women can and will be charged more for their healthcare. Hence the idea, encoded into TrumpCare, that being a woman is a pre-existing condition. Women spoke about this and about what the loss of reproductive choice might mean as Congress moves forward to defund Planned Parenthood. The threat to women is real, as is the threat to their children.
A mother spoke for her youngest son Henry, who was born needing a new liver. “He needs health care, and Henry’s not the only one. Henry can’t afford it himself, but I think the greater of us believe that Henry should get it.” Henry’s older brother held a sign.
Though the version of the AHCA passed by the House seems unlikely to pass the Senate, it seems likely that some form of healthcare “reform” will pass and that President Donald Trump will sign it into law.
Rhode Islanders concerned about preserving the ACA (Affordable Care Act) or even improving on our healthcare options by instituting a single-payer, Medicare for All system, can be reasonably sure that senators Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed will fight against the worst excesses of the Republican plan, which as presently constituted will eliminate the coverage 20 million Americans and reward “healthier people with lower costs, but might increase premiums for near-elderly people tenfold.” The AHCA is also a $600 billion dollar tax cut for the wealthiest Americans.