Community activist, health advocates and residents in the California 10th congressional district held a mock funeral last Thursday (June 29) outside Rep. Jeff Denham’s office to illustrate the number of lives that would be affected by the Senate Republican Health Care Plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
Those Valley residents in attendance want Denham to oppose the bill if it returns to the house.
The Senate was scheduled to vote on the bill last week; however Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on June 27 delayed the vote until after the July 4 recess.
Noé Páramo, community activist said the senate bill didn’t have any public input.
“The community didn’t have the opportunity to have a voice,” Páramo said during the mock funeral outside Denham’s office. “The community is coming to its representative to give him its opinion. Denham voted against the Affordable Care Act in favor of the House’s bill. Now if the Senate approves the new law to repeal the ACA it will return to the House of Representatives and Denham will have the opportunity to vote again.”
“We are here to say the new Senate proposal is bad for the community and it would have a tremendous impact,” Páramo said, adding that more than 100,000 people in the counties of Stanislaus and San Joaquín had benefited from the ACA through Covered California and the Medi-Cal expansion. “If the Affordable Care Act is repeal, there will be less service for those people because they are taking away funding.”
Páramo said the Affordable Care Act is working in California; however he said the ACA needs to be improved and representative in the Valley need to work on improving it instead of repealing it.
Last week the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced the results of its analysis which found that 22 million Americans will lose healthcare under the Senate Bill, with 4 to 5 million people to be affected in California.
The Senate health care proposal, knows as the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, calls for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate, as well as drastic cuts to the Medicaid program. Under the bill, Medicaid expansion would be phased out over three years and federal funding for the program would be subject to a per-capita cap.
In California one in three people are enrolled in Medi-Cal, including children, people with disabilities, seniors and people who work but earn far too little to afford insurance.
In San Joaquín and Stanislaus Counties, more than two in five residents will face cuts to their care through the Medi-Cal program.
The mock funeral started with a procession from Salida Public Library to Denham’s office. Wearing black clothing and veils, protesters carried a homemade coffin, homemade tombstone signs such as ‘Death by Medicaid rollbacks,’ ‘I did not choose PTSD, anxiety, depression. I can’t opt out,’ ‘Ryan’s plan helped the rich and killed me,’ ‘RIP high risk insurance pool’ and read “eulogies” about people who will lose their healthcare and have their lives put at risk by Trumpcare.
The ‘Fight 4 Our Health’ event was organized by The CA 10 Progressive Coalition, a new and growing coalition and a collaborative effort of progressive grassroots organizations in California’s 10th congressional district. The coalition includes: Patterson Progressive Alliance, be the change Turlock, Swing Left Stanislaus, Indivisible Stanislaus, Assyrian Central Valley Alliance, Indivisible Manteca, Our Revolution Turlock, Our Revolution CD10, and Modesto Progressive Democrats.