Vermonters to join national protest to 'Kill the Bill, Don't Kill Us'

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Vermonters to join national protest to 'Kill the Bill, Don't Kill Us'

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 3:35am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine Following the direct actions of June 28 and July 10, in which 140 Americans, including many with serious health conditions, were arrested in their senator’s DC offices for civil disobedience, still more constituents plan to flood Capitol Hill Wednesday to stop the repeal of the ACA. Organizers say Vermont residents will also participate in this latest oppostion to "repeal and replace" Obamacare.

People with disabilities and life-threatening chronic illnesses, cancer survivors, Medicaid recipients, Affordable Care Act (ACA) policyholders, registered nurses, doctors, and others directly impacted by the Senate healthcare bill will be traveling from all states represented by Republican senators to descend upon Capitol Hill on Wednesday, July 19, with a strong message: “Kill the bill—don’t kill us!”

At least 200 people will risk arrest in acts of civil disobedience—a sign of just how critical it is to them that their Senators hear their pleas not to put their lives and those of people they love at risk with a bill that leaves many millions of people without health care and strips protections for preexisting conditions, essential health benefits and other key features of the ACA that have allowed 20 million Americans to access coverage since its implementation. The protesters will call on their senators to vote against the proposed bill, and  to support a Medicare for All system instead, which would guarantee access to high-quality healthcare for every person living in the United States.

A Rights & Democracy Vermont contingent is joining in the protest and issued this press release with quotes from participants:

"Wednesday's protest will be my third, in almost as many weeks, here in D.C. I was already arrested once and am planning on getting arrested again on Wednesday. I'm a permanently disabled woman with multiple chronic incurable illnesses who relies on Medicaid. Two of my disabilities already nearly killed me. I'm here to put my life on the line to stop the GOP's bills from being passed in to law and killing millions of other people. If this bill passes, I have nothing left to lose." — Emily Marie Ahtunan, Montpelier

"I'm going to DC because the Affordable Care Act allowed me to get the care I needed to recover from chronic injuries that had kept me crippled for two years. I can't stand by while 22 million people are threatened with having their insurance ripped from them." – Mike Fiske, Burlington

"I'm going because my life depends on the current state of affairs of my health care continuing—without interruption! The FBI came after me for draft evasion, so it's only fitting to bookend my civil disobedience now, as then." — Kevin Kirkpatrick, Irasburg

The actions will be led by Center for Popular Democracy, Housing Works, National Nurses United, Rise and Resist, Positive Women’s Network - USA, and Health Care for America Now.

WHAT: National health care town hall, followed by massive civil disobedience action, with over 500 participants and over 200 risking arrest in sit-ins

WHEN: Wednesday, July 19, starting at 1 PM

WHERE: Capitol Hill Location TBD, then patients and providers depart in waves to descend on Senator’s offices

WHO: 500+ constituents of all 52 Republican Senators, including many with serious health conditions and disabilities.

VISUALS: Crowds of constituents chanting with signs, sharing their personal health care stories, occupying Senators’ offices and hallways, and being arrested

The new version of the Senate’s bill, ironically called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act” (BCRA), released by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Thursday, is even worse than the previous bill, as well as the House bill:

  • Medicaid would still be slashed under the new version of the bill, putting people with disabilities, children, and seniors in nursing homes at great risk of losing access to the services they need.

  • The provision added by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) would allow insurers to discriminate against people with preexisting conditions by offering bare-bones policies that would only cover few essential services. Comprehensive plans will become more expensive because younger, healthier people would be more likely to opt into the cheaper, skimpier plans, with older people and those with more complex health care needs requiring the more robust plans.

Source: Rights & Democracy Vermont 7.17.2017