By TIM ROWDEN
Arnold, MO – People across Missouri took to the streets recently to voice their concerns about the future the Affordable Care Act commonly known as Obamacare.
Missouri Healthcare for All hosted protests throughout the state in Arnold, Dexter, Joplin, Springfield, West Plains, at Republican Senator Roy Blunt’s office in Clayton and at Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill’s office in St. Louis.
The protests came after the House and Senate recently passed budget resolutions that will begin dismantling Obamacare without a plan in place to replace it.
Katie Morse, organizer for Missouri Health Care for All, said activists took to the streets to remind their representatives that by gutting the Affordable Care Act millions of people are going to lose their health care coverage, including their constituents.
“It’s kind of like knocking down a house and not having another place to live,” Morse said of the House and Senate actions.
John Antonich, a retired member of UFCW Meat, Deli & Seafood Local 88, turned out the rally at Jeffco Boulevard and Highway 141 in Arnold.
“I have a daughter that’s married and has seven children, three of whom are adopted special needs children,” Antonich said. “If something happens, they’re not going to be able to get insurance. If they’re going to repeal the Affordable Care Act, let’s see what they’ve got to replace it.”
Steven and Stephanie Matthews also turned out in Arnold.
He is on disability. She works as a hairdresser and has Lupus, a pre-existing condition that put insurance coverage for her out of reach before the ACA. As a hairdresser, she’s an independent contractor and doesn’t have the option of employer-provided coverage.
“Before the Affordable Care Act, I was getting quotes of $1,000 a month,” she said. “I went without health coverage for two years, but now I’ve got coverage. I pay a whole lot for it, but it’s better than nothing. Without the ACA, a broken leg or a broken arm could put us on the street.”
If the GOP repeals the Affordable Care Act, 20 million to 30 million people could lose their health care coverage.