In our December 2016 newsletter, we wrote about how important it was to protect, improve, and expand health care coverage for all people. Since then, Congress has taken steps to move forward with a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) using the budget reconciliation process.
Virginia Organizing Chapters across the state decided to take action to make sure Congress knows that we are paying attention and care about our access to affordable health care.
Danville leaders gathered in December and again on February 14 to tell Congress, “don’t break our hearts.”
“I’m here with Virginia Organizing to encourage our legislators to protect the Affordable Care Act,” said Danville Chapter member Matthew Bailey. “My wife and I have recently been able to afford health insurance for the first time in several years because of the Affordable Care Act. Recently, we’ve been concerned whether we’re going to lose that coverage or not.”
Other leaders are concerned about what losing health care will mean for those with pre-existing conditions.
“I am scared of what Congress will do with the Affordable Care Act,” said Angela Davis of Norfolk. “I had an aneurysm October 2015 and stayed in the hospital intensive care unit for five days. My bill was well over $100,000, and was paid in full — I only had to cover a $25 copay. If we lose the ACA, what happens next time and to people in similar situations?”
In Harrisonburg, business owners and individuals came out to support health care.
“As a small business owner, the Affordable Care Act allows me to maintain my health care while investing in growing my business,” said Eleanor Held, a member of the Harrisonburg Chapter of Virginia Organizing.
Health care providers are also concerned about possible repeal of the ACA.
“Because of the Affordable Care Act, I am able to receive health care through my parents’ coverage as a college student. Opponents have yet to come up with a better plan — or any plan at all,” said Geena Felton, a member of the South Hampton Roads Chapter of Virginia Organizing. “It would be a shame to study nursing and not be able to receive health services for myself.”
Virginia Organizing rallies have taken place in Abingdon, Danville, Eastern Shore, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach.
“Virginia Organizing believes Congress needs to work on expanding access to affordable care for all people and improving on current health care laws to reduce premiums, deductibles, and prescription drug costs and provide greater access to more doctors and hospitals,” said Virginia Organizing Board member and Fredericksburg Chapter leader Duane Edwards.
To see more actions, be sure to check our calendar at www.virginia-organizing.org/events.