A month after Congress failed in a Republican-led bid to repeal the Affordable Care Act, health care advocates rallied in Boston to support former President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.
“The ACA has survived several attempts on taking its life,” said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. “We’re going to continue to fight so that plug does not get pulled. The fight’s not over.”
The Wednesday rally at City Hall Plaza was part of a cross-country bus tour by the national group Save My Care. The advocacy group is traveling from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C. holding rallies with individuals who have been helped by publicly subsidized health insurance.
The group is trying to pressure Congress not to repeal universal health care or make cuts to Medicaid.
Although Congress was ultimately unable to pass a bill to repeal and replace the ACA, despite a Republican majority, the issue could still return. And President Donald Trump could also act unilaterally to undermine the law – for example, by withholding subsidies that help low and middle-income families afford health insurance.
Speakers at the Boston rally stressed the advantages to consumers of Obama’s changes — such as eliminating lifetime caps on coverage and not allowing insurers to deny coverage based on preexisting conditions.
Walsh said his access to health care and health insurance helped him survive cancer when he was seven years old.
U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy, D-Massachusetts, compared the potential for health care repeal to the devastation caused in Houston by Hurricane Harvey, arguing that health care challenges affect people just as suddenly, and they need access to care. “At some point, the sky will fall for every one of us, just as it has for folks in Houston,” Kennedy said.
Angela Ortiz, founder of the Massachusetts Pediatric Home Nursing Care Campaign, said she relies on Medicaid to cover most of the medical expenses for her four-year-old daughter who has complex medical problems. “Medicaid is our…