Supporters of Obamacare rally in Ky. and protest repeal plans

“The event was billed as a public forum on the consequences of repealing the [Patient Protection and] Affordable Care Act and Kentucky Medicaid expansion. But at times it seemed more like a political rally,” Andrew Wolfson reports for The Courier-Journal. “Several hundred people turned out for the session hosted by U.S. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, at the Louisville Central Community Center.” Protests were also held in Lexington and around the nation, WKYT-TV reports.

State Rep. Attica Scott, state Sen. Morgan McGarvey and U.S.
Rep. John Yarmuth (Courier-Journal photo by Marty Pearl)

State Rep. Darryl Owens, D-Louisville, claimed President-elect Donald Trump is “hell-bent on destroying the lives of Kentuckians and Americans,” and state Rep. Jim Wayne, “another Democrat who has worked 40 years as a psychotherapist, went further, describing the soon-to-be president as ‘evil’ for vowing to repeal the Affordable Care Act and return to a competitive system for health care that ‘didn’t maintain our country’s health’,” Wolfson reports. “Yarmuth said Republicans want to dismember the law that has provided health care to 22 million Americans without offering any details on how they will replace it.”

“They say they want a free market system, which sounds to me ominously like what we had before the Affordable Care Act – when insurance companies decided who lived and who died,” Yarmuth said. Wolfson notes, “Critics of the Affordable Care Act say it is too expensive and that the requirement to get coverage is an intrusion on individual liberty.”

Yarmuth said he expects federal officials to approve the Medicaid waiver requested by Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, which would charge small premiums based on income and the require work, school or similar activities by able-bodied adults who aren’t primary caregivers.

The future of the Medicaid expansion, and the rest of the law, are in doubt because there has been no agreement on a plan to replace the law but retain certain core elements such as coverage of pre-existing conditions, which Trump has said he wants to keep. Experts say that requires a mandate to buy insurance, a provision Republicans don’t like.

“Speakers beseeched Trump and Republican leaders to replace the law immediately and to keep the features that Yarmuth said provide ‘health security’ for all Americans,” Wolfson reports.

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