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Protestors Urge Congressman Long to Vote No on Obamacare Repeal - KOAM TV 7

Protestors Urge Congressman Long to Vote No on Obamacare Repeal & GOP Plan

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Protestors marched today against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act near the offices of Congressman Billy Long. The picket comes as lawmakers prepare to vote on a new healthcare plan.
 

Veteran Bob Gideon held a sign with others calling on Congressman Long to vote against a repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Its his wife's source of insurance coverage.
Gideon said, "She really likes it. It
s really been a life saver for us. When asked why, he answered, She was in the hospital, I think three years ago, spent six days in the hospital. Boy, it was it a huge bill. And they took care a good part of it."


Gideon is afraid under the new GOP plan his wife won't qualify. Protestors say forty-one thousand in Long's district would lose it including older Americans and children.

Dottie Elbert, a protest organizer with Missouri Healthcare for All said,  "I think just the fact that its gonna limit access. It
s going to cost us all more and provide less care."

Dr. Edgar Conrad argues the current system doesn
t work. He said, " Obamacare is basically glorified Medicaid and because the reimbursement is miserable, and that's putting it mildly, we just can't afford to keep our front doors open accepting  all new Medicaid patients."

For ACA patients he only gets reimbursed about seven dollars for one hundred spent. Dr. Conrad  believes getting rid of mandates and penalties would  allow more competition among insurance providers lowering costs.

Protestor Nikki Straw agrees that could help. She had Obamacare. Premiums started at two hundred thirty-seven a month but would have jumped to more than eight hundred dollars a month this year if her husband hadn
t gotten employer insurance. Straw said, There needs to be changes. They need to tweak the system but I dont know that they need to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Theres good points to it. It gave me the opportunity to be seen by doctors and to do the testing that was needed.

Not everyone in the protest is on an ACA or Obamacare plan but they hate to see the progress that has been made discarded.
Georgianna Diener, a protestor from Carthage said, "My husband has been in cabinet building since fifteen years old. He's never had insurance since (until) the Affordable Care Act because of employer mandates.  And I've got heart disease and Crohn
s disease and medical insurance at fifty-six years old is very important to me."

Coverage of pre-existing conditions that she doesn
t want to lose in a repeal of Obamacare.
Congressman Long was not at the Joplin office during the protest. He is in Washington D.C. preparing for the healthcare vote on Thursday.
 

Congressman Long responded to the protest with a written statement. 

“A no vote on the American Health Care Act would tantamount to a yes vote for Obamacare. Right now 84 percent of counties in Missouri only have one choice for insurance. Obamacare is collapsing and if we don't repeal and replace it we run the risk of putting people in dire jeopardy. The American Health Care Act will not only help the many Missourians hurt by Obamacare, but the millions of Americans that were also harmed by it as well. A lot more of my Constituents are asking that I support our President and repeal Obamacare than are wanting to retain it. I will continue to work hard to get the best result possible for Missourians.”

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