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In Palm Coast, A Small Protest Against GOP Health Bill Echoes Myriad Anxieties of Flesh and Blood

| June 27, 2017

A few of today's protesters on State Road 100 by the Florida Hospital Flagler entrance: from left, Pat Ferraro, Nancy Nally, and Nally's 14-year-old daughter, Bridget. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

A few of today’s protesters on State Road 100 by the Florida Hospital Flagler entrance: from left, Pat Ferraro, Nancy Nally, and Nally’s 14-year-old daughter, Bridget. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

From afar or even from up close as you drove by today on State Road 100, near Florida Hospital Flagler in Palm Coast, the protest Diana LeBrun brought together under a brutal noonday sun didn’t look like much: precisely 18 people who’d gathered along the road with signs that read, “Health Care is a Right,” “Save Medicaid Save Lives,” “Save the ACA,” “22 Million Lives Matter,” a reference to the 22 million people expected to lose their insurance should Senate Republicans pass what they’re calling the “Better Care Act” as a replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

It didn’t look like much, this demonstration against the bill, but the moment you got close, the moment you spoke to any of the 18, you’d start hearing the sort of stories rarely heard through the din of political brawls and television shout shows. They’re the kind of stories that make the political noise sound ridiculous, because the stories are not about ideology, they’re not about too much or two little regulation, high taxes or low. They’re about people’s own experiences, the sort of experiences which, heard once, then again and then again as you made your way down the line of this ostensibly small band of protesters, take on the resonance of a deeper echo, of stories almost anyone in town, anywhere in the country could relate to, because everyone knows a friend, a family member, a colleague going through these experiences. Anyone might be the very person telling you the stories.

These few demonstrators were those persons. Your neighbors, colleagues, Facebook friends. 

You could start with Nancy Nally, a Palm Coast resident. She and her husband Mike are raising a 14-year-old daughter, Bridget. Bridget was with her mother this afternoon, wearing a dress stitched as if by Betsy Ross: it was the American flag. And she wore a color-dotted baseball hat with the word “LOVE” in big gold letters.

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Bridget is autistic. She has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She has scleroderma, a painful disease that hardens the skin and connective tissue. And she has lichen sclerosis, which also affects the skin. She’s currently being tested for more recent concerns. Her medical bills this year will likely be around $90,000. The bills were closer to double that last year, when she was on more expensive and intensive medication. She gets infusions at Shands children’s hospital in Gainesville, for $11,000 an infusion. “That adds up fast, and that’s not including all the other specialists, all these biopsies,” her mother says. (When her mother was interviewed, Bridget had walked off to rest under a tree, as she had been in the sun for a while.) “She had a CT scan last week,” to make sure the scleroderma hasn’t gone to her lungs.

“She needs to have stable insurance,” Nally says.

She had it for seven years, through Aetna. Aetna sent Nally notice that Bridget will lose her insurance on Dec. 31, because Aetna is dropping the individual market and dropping out of the Obamacare exchange. The company claimed that it was losing money on some of these services. If it was, it hadn’t affected its 2016 bottom line. The company realized an operating profit of $2.3 billion, on revenue of $15.7 billion. Its stock price has zoomed up 370 percent since Obamacare became law.

But that’s another story, and it’s irrelevant to Nally, who is left wondering if she will be able to insure her daughter anymore—or herself and her husband, for that matter. They are both insured through the exchange, as are 1.6 million Floridians.

“We hear a lot about freeloaders on the system,” Nally says, “but my kid is likely going to be disabled for the rest of her life, through no fault of her own. She was born this way. She didn’t choose to be this way. She just is. She’s probably, developmentally, with her autism, never going to be self-supporting. And yet on top of it she’s got these serious medical problems that are insanely expensive. There’s people like that, that are caught in the system. It’s bad enough as a parent, worrying if this is going to kill my kid, without worrying about how I’m going to pay for it. Or worrying if it’s going to kill her because I can’t pay for it.”

“We hear a lot about freeloaders on the system. But my kid is likely going to be disabled for the rest of her life, through no fault of her own. She was born this way. She didn’t choose to be this way. She just is.”

There are worries about her own insurance and that of her husband. They’re both on the exchange plans. The Nallys are eons from the 1 percent, the 5 percent or the worriless percent: they run their own publishing company. They owns several Internet sites, they do marketing and social media consulting for crafts industries. Nancy is also a freelance writer. Obamacare makes health insurance affordable.

“So we have to hope that whatever is going on right now in the House and Senate doesn’t make her uninsurable,” Nally said of her daughter. “Under the current ACA law, we would just go into the exchange and buy her a new plan for next year. But with all the stuff that they’re turning upside down, with not wanting to treat pre-existing conditions this, massive deductible that, and all this other stuff, we could end up up a creek.”

Nally and the other demonstrators were not aware that just about then, Mitch McConnell, the Senate majority leader who’d had the GOP health bill crafted in secret before unveiling it a few days ago, decided to postpone a vote on it until after the July 4 recess. The bill immediately drew criticism, including mounting opposition from GOP senators and many more Republican governors. It was the latest in a series of defeats in attempts to undo Obamacare.

“They’re frantically working to strike deals to make the bill palatable to the people they’re losing, so who knows,” Nally said. “Unfortunately, many of the people they’ve lost in the GOP senate for this bill, they’ve lost because the bill wasn’t mean enough.” Nally is briefly interrupted by a passing car, horn blaring, its occupants showing the thumbs up. “So any deals that get struck to make the bill more palatable may made the bill nastier, which isn’t real comforting.”

So Nally goes back to holding up a sign and hoping more cars honk their approval than not, like the man who took the time to stop his car in traffic, heading east, and like a man possessed, started bellowing back his disdain for Obamacare from across the four lanes.

Next in line was Pat Ferraro, 66. She’s lived in Flagler Beach for 30 years. “I don’t know if you know anything about brain aneurysms but you’re not supposed to live through them,” she says, by way of introduction.

Mike. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Mike. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

“Through the grace of God and wonderful surgery, I lived through it. They put an aneurysm clip in.” That was four years ago. She then retired. Now she has to have an MRI every year to make sure the clip is fine and she’s not developing anything else. “I do have a pre-existing condition, even though that one is cured,” she says. “Without the ACA, I would not be covered for pre-existing conditions or for the mammoth medical costs or the MRI every year. We cannot desert our most vulnerable people in this society, the poor, the disabled, the working class Americans. We need to continue ACA. Yes, it needs some tweaking, we can fix it. It’s not in the death spiral that people like to claim with fearmongering.”

And then she says she’s glad she’s living to tell her story. “I hope I can continue to tell mine,”  she says.

Near her was Doreen Blischak. She points to the pictures on her placard showing a woman facing the camera, obviously in ill health. “This is my friend Mike, she was born in 1954,” Blischak says. Mike is a twin. Her sister is healthy. Mike is not. She sustained brain damage at birth. “There are people like her being born every day in this country,” Blischak continues. “There are increased neo-natal health care to keep seriously impaired infants alive. So who’s going to decide that they get care or not? Who’s going to decide to take Mikes away, if Medicaid is dropped, or severely reduced? Who makes that decision? That’s my question. That’s all.”

The GOP bill would gut Medicaid over the next few years, throwing people out of nursing homes and nursing care, among others, and cutting off insurance coverage for millions of children: 40 percent of the nation’s children receive coverage through Medicaid.

health care is a right

Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Diana LeBrun, a leader of Indivisible Flagler, the progressive group, had organized the protest with a few postings on Facebook, little more. Fifteen years ago she donated a kidney to a stranger just to save his life. It became a pre-existing condition. Because of Obamacare, she is currently not charged more because of that condition.

 “This new bill, I probably will be thrown into a state regulation pool, and if they even take me, I will be charged up to five times the amount than if I hadn’t donated that kidney,” LeBrun says. “That’s not the whole story. The whole story is, there are 100,000 people on the transplant list, and 13 of them die each day. The only way we’re going to get a handle on this is to get people to donate, for example their liver, part of their liver, or their kidney. How do I recruit people to donate when I’m going to tell them that they have a preexisting condition for the rest of their life?” And when that preexisting condition may be the difference between getting insurance and not.

That was just four interviews, four people out of the 18 holding up signs.

There would have been more, and likely every one of the 18 could have told a story as made of flesh and blood as the fine print of the GOP bill is made of cuts and subtractions. But time ran out: the protest was scheduled for just an hour, people had to go back to work, some had to get out of the sun, Bridget looked like she was ready to go home. The protesters gathered for a group shot. They smiled. Then they scattered.

Faint voices. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

Faint, committed voices. Click on the image for larger view. (© FlaglerLive)

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47 Responses for “In Palm Coast, A Small Protest Against GOP Health Bill Echoes Myriad Anxieties of Flesh and Blood”

  1. Christina says:

    Thank you for standing strong as this health care bill is atrocious!

  2. S Peters says:

    ACA (Obamacare) saved my life from cancer. The GOP plan is simply greed vs humanity. Not even political party differences. Just plain GREED. To paraphrase a commentator I heard today, ‘ An unhealthy America is not a strong America’.

  3. truth says:

    Healthcare repeal and ignorance doesnt seem like such a good idea when its killing kids in flagler

  4. Merrill Shapiro says:

    These are the mighty of our generation who will always be people of renown!

  5. Knightwatch says:

    These are the local faces of the millions of Americans who will suffer under the Republican anti-health care plan. These are the family members, friends and neighbors who will lose their coverage and be hit with such high premiums and deductibles as to make health care unaffordable. They will lose their savings, their homes and their retirements, and they will still be sick and disabled. This is life under Republican rule. Their personal greed and lack of human compassion will cost lives. It will limit the opportunities of the 10’s and 100’s of thousands who will not reach their potential because of debilitating illness or injury that will go untreated and unresolved for lack of proper health care. What an embarrassment to the world. What a hateful America.

  6. anonymus says:

    Myself, my husband & my son both have medical issues & guess what? Couldn’t afford Obamacare for the 3 of us & the IRS ended up not only taking whatever tax return I had coming to me, but I had to pay them the difference. Sad that people honestly believe that Obamacare is the best thing when realitstically, it isn’t!!

  7. Algernon says:

    Good for these people who made their concerns known. They are a few of the local people involved in the national movement, Indivisible. They’re here and they’re not going away. Their access to health coverage may go away thought without people sharing their stories and the fight. There must be a way to cover pre-existing conditions at prices people can afford.

    Thank you to Flagler Live for sharing this for the community. These people are not just on TV. They’re our neighbors.

  8. fredrick says:

    “22 million people expected to lose their insurance”, can someone share the stat that indicates how many of those 22 million are those who only have insurance because they are forced too and want to opt out?

  9. Richard Smith says:

    Since when is Health Care a inalienable right? Last time I looked it was “Life – Liberty – Pursuit of Happiness”. Now certainly it is a MORAL right but not a LEGAL right. Health care is widely available to all. Health insurance is another story. The ACA is health insurance NOT health care. And oh by the way my wife has no health insurance because it is no longer affordable. So if she needs health care I take her to the same doctors and pay cash. Why should I pay over $500 a month with a $9000 deductible and only see a doctor or specialist a few times each year and have to pay more at the office? If you are sick or ill you search out health care. There are many locations and places that offer health care. Whether it is affordable or not is another story. Plus where in our rights does it state that if you never put aside any money for health care purposes and spent it on other frivolous stuff that you will get free money? No one is throwing money at me so I have can have a good Life, Liberty and be Happy.

  10. George says:

    I’m gonna go into the kitchen and get my popcorn ready, just in case this bill gets passed into law. We are approaching the point where even the most resolute Trump supporters are going to be like, “Wait, what? I’m going to lose my health care? BUT TRUMP SAID HE WAS FOR THE WORKING CLASS! HOW CAN HE DO THIS TO US?!”

    I’m gonna start taking bets on how long it will take before the tsunami of excuses about how it’s Obama’s fault that the GOP’s hand-crafted health care bill failed. 3.2.1. GO!

  11. Ben Hogarth says:

    Anonymous – I am sorry you and your family have been abused by the system in this country. There are too many hard-working Americans in those shoes right now. Even JFK worked to fight against this injustice in 1962 with his healthcare bill, which was met with stiff resistance from the GOP even when it was polling as a positive, 75% with most Americans.

    But here is the dirty little secret about ACA / Obamacare – that legal provision that requires YOU and me to and everyone else to purchase medical insurance or face tough tax penalties… was a Republican amendment to the Democrat bill. I was watching CSPAN that entire month and can tell you without a doubt, it was the Republicans who cut a deal with Democrats and allowed it to pass by forcing that requirement down everyone’s throat. It was a Republican Amendment because the GOP gets payoffs by the insurance companies…

    Who were suddenly about to get millions of more subscribers. All about that dollar…

  12. palmcoaster says:

    Is shameful that our GOP Congress and Senate are wasting all this time and our hard earned taxes in trying to do away ACA that protects and gives access to preventive health care to millions of Americans that never had it before. They want to replace it with what is was before ACA ( derogatorily called OBAMACARE by the GOP’s) and go back to the dark ages of millions of Americans and NO health care just to give huge tax brakes to the wealthy. If they want to improve ACA then improve it but do not do away with it just because a black POTUS instated it! When our 3 branches of government are going to start using our hard earned taxes to serve us all other than special interest and foreign wars and stop this derogatory civil war among GOP’s and Dems? I called my Senatorial and Congressional Reps in Florida (Rubio, Nelson, De Santis) to NOT replace ACA as proposed! Do everyone realize that would be the same as doing away with our social security and medicare in exchange for what..? Americans in town halls meetings with their GOP’s reps are grilling them for what they are currently trying to do away with ACA and replacement with something pathetic that will leave again more millions of american families that we can count without medical insurance. If GOP’s want to save $$, cut down in useless wars and foreign aid…and protect our own first. Just cut the pork not the life line of millions of Americans! I am still a REP registered …by now. Also please those like myself that are not wealthy but doing fine and not poor either, stop believing that our needy classes get a free ride to all and that we middle class pay for it!! As is the biggest stigma against the real progress of our country and the huge continental divide of our American society.

  13. Paul says:

    Thank you FlaglerLive and for those of you who braved the heat to get your voices heard.

  14. palmcoaster says:

    I wish I would have known that was going to be held a demonstration to stop the GOP’s from doing away with ACA. I would have participated in show of support! If we let them, today is ACA, tomorrow will be SS, Medicare and also Unemployment Insurance as they are trying hard to do away with Medicaid as well.
    I pay taxes so we all receive services, then comply and stop wasting our hard earned taxes on the wealthy tax breaks, special interest, useless wars, foreign aid….serve us all first including our needy and poor!

  15. BlueJammers says:

    What a massive rally! All 16 of them.

  16. Diana L says:

    No one is saying that Obamacare, ACA, is the answer. No one is saying that Obamacare, ACA, hadn’t hurt some people. What it has done is help many people, but not all. What we are asking for is our legislators come together in a bipartisan manner and help ALL of us. The Insurance companies and big Pharma are getting insanely wealthy over our sickness. ALL of us deserve to be able to afford to go to the Dr when we need to, ALL of us should be able to afford to purchase insurance and have the peace of mind that if we get sick that we can get treatment. ALL of us should come together and demand they come up with a plan that helps all of us. If they are not up for the job, they need to be replaced.

  17. Diana L says:

    To be exact there were 21 of us, 21 of your neighbors that want to be heard and are trying to make a difference. Why do you find the numbers of people at the rally a point of ridicule? What did that add to the conversation?

  18. The Oracle says:

    This “rally” looks pitiful. The disaster known as Obama Care, was based on lies from the beginning. We (Democrats and Republicans) must do something soon. The current system is not working . Insurance companies are pulling out, people are not signing up. When you elect a President with no business , management or leadership background, this is what you get. This guy had never created a job or hired anyone in his life.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Have any of the commenters read the bill? That’s what I thought. But, it must be bad because it has GOP in the title.

  20. Diana L. says:

    It was 21 to be exact, but why would you find the number a point to ridicule? One person standing up and speaking out can make a difference. Every person that stood on that corner matters and needs to be heard. Thank you.

  21. Diana L. says:

    Not one person that stood on that corner thinks that Obamacare, ACA, is the answer. The ACA has hurt and helped many people. We get it. We are asking our legislators to come together and work on a solution in a bipartisan manner. Healthcare for Americans should not be a political football to be spiked when one side “wins” a fight. The only thing that matters is that ALL Americans have access to good medical treatment that each one of us can afford. I hope that each of you will call your Congressman, Senators and Governor and demand that they put politics aside and work for ALL of us. Thank you.

  22. palmcoaster says:

    Anonymous: have you read that the latest GOP proposal is done in total secret?They don;t even allow the Senate Dems to see it…much less will allow the taxpayers to see it.
    We don’t need massive rallies, but if achieved are welcomed, just the jammed e-mails and phone calls to our Congressional and Senatorial Reps will do and have you all seeing the town halls held by GOP’s and their grillings? That is what works!

  23. BlueJammers says:

    My apologies. The last thing I would want to do is offend you or any other reader. I was only surprised to see what I believe is a rather small turnout for such an important subject.

  24. Diana L says:

    What bill, it changes constantly. It was hidden from we the people, no hearings and no debates. If it passes, it will be changed right up to the time it passes to buy votes. I don’t care who you are, it affects all of us and we should all have a chance to weigh in. I don’t think healthcare is a political issue. Why do we have to take sides? I’m on the side of the American people and I don’t want anyone hurt.

  25. Richard Smith says:

    @ Dianna L. – Well stated and I for one are behind you 100%. I am so sick and tired of the bipartisan crapola going on in Washington. Personally Trump should drain the cesspool like he campaigned on PLUS the American people should NOT reelect congressmen who won’t do anything except obstruct our government. And that goes for BOTH sides of the aisle. It is shameful that congressmen get elected to represent US but once they get that paycheck, lifetime benefits, etc. etc. They forget why they got elected. It is time to TAKE our government back from the swamp that it has become and get people in power that want to help the American people to keep them safe from people who want to harm us and take advantage of us. That includes the health industry and everyone else in this country.

  26. Diana L says:

    You didn’t offend me. I am proud of every person that stood out there yesterday. We had a bigger rally planned the night before but the weather postponed it until the next day. It was thrown together at the last minute. Rather it be 1 or 3,000 people, we just want to be heard. All of us should be heard, including you. Thank you.

  27. Pierre Tristam says:

    For those who couldn’t afford Obamacare, which is entirely possible—and problematic—it’s just as true that you could afford private insurance outside of the exchanges even less, otherwise you’d have been on it. Obamacare provides subsidies, those who can’t afford it are proportionately few—or seeking gold or platinum-level plans that are unquestionably and unfairly out of reach. Again, that’s not an Obamacare issue. It’s an insurance-greed issue: the insurers set the rates. Obamacare mandated availability, which was just as unquestionably absent before.

    The suggestion that the 22 million losing insurance would contain any significant number of people who’d be opting out of Obamacare if they had a choice misunderstands the system. Certainly some people would go without by choice. But that choice is in place already, and as plenty of documentation has indicated, it’s much cheaper for people to opt out of insurance and pay the penalty than it is to buy insurance. That’s why 28 million people are still uninsured. That’s why Obamacare is full of holes—not because it mandates people to be on insurance, but because the mandate is both too weak and ill thought out, in that it prevents what a single-payer system would have eliminated altogether: a two or three-tiered system where the healthy go without insurance and the sick end up paying far higher rates. By single-payer system of course I mean Medicare for all. It works for the elderly. It would work even better for everyone. Meanwhile, those 22 million people who’d lose their insurance, you can be certain, are for the most part those who need it most, and, factually so, include people on Medicaid, half of whom are children. If anyone thinks they should be without insurance, you’re welcome to your cruelty. But don’t impose it on them. Or us.

    Then there’s the reliably obtuse retreads of health care not being a right because it’s only about “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” The commenter, never known for his tack, gives us the answer in his own attempt to play constitutional scholar—not that the line is from the Constitution. But anyway. I don’t know of any interpretation of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” at least not an interpretation of the words as we read them in English, that would make a distinction between health care and life, or a distinction between health care and happiness: Try being ill for a day, or battling a life-threatening illness, or watching your child battle one, or two, or three, as is the case with Nancy’s: are you happy? I am of course excluding the sadists among you. I would include liberty in the equation, too: in as much as no one can function properly on an empty stomach, there is no liberty to speak of, except as meaningless sloganeering in the upper-right corners of Fox News screens, when we live life under the Damocles swords of illness, mountains of bills and the threat of bankruptcy, as was routine before Obamacare. That may still leave you the liberty to make asinine statements about “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” but it doesn’t make them remotely accurate.

    And if anyone still thinks that this demonstration’s turnout somehow lessens its legitimacy, just keep in mind that if you’d like to go down that road you should start with the fact that no more than 25 percent of the American adult, vote-eligible population actually cast a ballot for Donald Trump (63 million out of an adult population of 250 million, based on the 2016 Census Bureau figures). No one is casting doubt on Trump’s legitimacy, however frail. Don’t cast doubt on demonstrators’ legitimacy just because one of the few things you can throw in their faces (facts, accuracy, documentation, reason not being your thing) is their numbers. Not even that linguine attack is sticking.

    Obviously I can go on, and just dealing with the fact-challenged stupidity of so many ideologically primed misconceptions out there is enough to infect my fingers with keyboard herpes (a virulently infectious disease of the Trump era if there ever was one), but that’s enough for now. I’m sure the trolls will soon enough waste another chunk of our lives we’ll never get back, Obamacare or no Obamacare.

  28. Sherry says:

    Ya know what. . . every other “first world” country understands that good, affordable health care is VITAL to ALL human beings and ALL “civilized” societies!!!

    Ours is the only country where (for too many) the almighty dollar is valued higher than the health of a human being!!!

    There is a reasonable solution. . . WE and YOU all know it! Implement a plan similar to Medicare. . . and have deductions from every paycheck, AND every form of government payment. . . to pay for the premiums. Sick or well. . . we are all in this together and as human beings, we should have one another’s backs.

    CLOSE the tax loop holes and the ability to avoid taxes in “off shore” accounts. . . and FORCE the “wealthy” to actually PAY their fair share of taxes. If the wealthiest citizens (who have benefited the most from our “already great” country) paid their “fair share” of taxes, the deficit would be paid off very quickly!

    GET the “maximizing profit” private insurance companies out of the middle, and have all those claims examiners work for the new system. Investigate the horrific price gouging of the Pharmaceutical industry and use the pressure of the new system to negotiate a reasonable price for life and health saving drugs..

    Completely depending on “market forces” or “competition” or “Capitalism” to provide high quality VITAL services at a reasonable cost may be a good “theory”. BUT. . . considering the MASSIVE GREED and obsession with the accumulation of “Personal Wealth” in our citizens. . . it is sheer INSANITY to continue to allow “for profit” companies to control our health care!!!!

  29. fredrick says:

    Your response was well written but I find this statement ” But don’t impose it on then (sic).” (I assume you meant “them”) totally one sided. Aren’t you imposing something on the other side by having any sort of mandate or penalty?

    • Pierre Tristam says:

      Frederick, thanks for the correction. No, you’re not imposing anymore than the 1.45 percent you pay in payroll tax out of every paycheck for Medicare is an imposition. It is even less so, since you can spend your entire life paying for Medicare, get horrifically sick along the way, die at 60, and never once have had the chance to get back what you paid into Medicare. The imposition, if there is any, is that you’re now paying for old farts’s health care on the assumption that you will benefit from the system at some point. Obamacare more clumsily does the same, but with subsidies. I don’t know what you mean by one-sided when, factually speaking, what I’ve based my analysis on is not a matter of one side or another.

  30. Richard Smith says:

    Maybe the American public should start up their own healthcare network similar to what he Amish and Mennonite societies do when they need health care. Get the government out of our personal lives and health care. They have made such a mess of it in the past decades so who needs them anyway? The Amish and Mennonites don’t need them.

  31. Richard Smith says:

    @ Sherry – Well stated and makes total common sense!

  32. Anna says:

    People need to protest against the insurance companies.

  33. Bill McGuire says:

    The ACA (Obamacare if you will), is just another example of what happens when the federal government enters into the realm of private industry. Costs go up and effectivity goes down. Amtrac, anyone ?

  34. palmcoaster says:

    Kudos to you Sherry!! Greed is destroying us all is not even anymore about being just rich…is the wealth for omnipotent power what keeps us in this financial hole.

  35. Nancy N. says:

    I can’t believe there are questions about how few people attended this rally. After previous ones, there have been questions about “who are all these people that can come to these things in the middle of a week day and why don’t these freeloaders get jobs?”

    No matter now many people show up, the number is used as evidence to indict the protest’s validity in some way by those who oppose the purpose of the event.

  36. Layla says:

    Mr. Hogarth, there were no Republican Amendments allowed to The AHCA. if it was amended after the bill passed, it was amended by President Obama.

    Republicans were not allowed any input into this law.

  37. Layla says:

    To say that the ACA has been successful is a lie. To say it is affordable is a lie, and to try and state that it isn’t having great difficulty is also a lie.

    I would suggest the Democrats and those opposed to this fix get into the discussion and ask for public hearings. It is time for a JOINT effort on this.

  38. Layla says:

    Anonymous, thank you for our honesty. This is the current state of the current healthcare act and for Congress to do nothing would be irresponsible and criminal.

    Let’s have those public hearings we were promised the first time.

  39. Layla says:

    Mr. Hogarth, the only Amendments added to the AHCA were added by President Obama. FACT. The Republicans had no input. President trump has requested that the mandate or pay the hefty fine be dropped.

    Knightwatch, instead of attacking one another as being mean spirited, why don’t we ALL call for those public hearings we were promised the first time and didn’t get? Andwhy don’t we all urge the entire Congress to participate?

    Wouldn’t this be a more unifying and productive use of our time?

  40. Sherry says:

    YES. . . the REPUBLICANS had input into the creation of the ACA! Now for some actual FACT checking. . . this from Politifact:

    Republicans had several opportunities to introduce amendments to the Affordable Care Act, in both the Senate and House bills. Ultimately, for procedural reasons tied to the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., the Senate version was the only one that moved forward. But Republicans offered changes in the committees that considered the bills before the whole chambers voted on them.

    For example, 788 amendments were submitted during the ACA’s markup in the Senate Committee for Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee (HELP). Three quarters of them were filed by the committee’s Republican members, according to John McDonough in his book Inside National Health Reform. Of those, 161 were adopted in whole or revised form.

  41. Sherry says:

    Also. . . I would like to point out that trump has not (yet?) invited one Democrat to “our” white house to discuss the new health care bill.

    Democrats in Congress cannot just storm the tower and demand to be heard. . . when there have been “no hearings” or opportunity for their input. Congress has their (arcane) procedures and the Democrats have not been invited to the table.

    We most certainly need term limits for Congress, and rules that get the big campaign contributions (AKA BRIBES) out of our completely corrupted politics!

  42. Nancy N. says:

    Layla, maybe your comments would have a tad more credibility if you knew the difference between the ACA and the AHCA. Perhaps you’d be wise to do some Googling before commenting again.

  43. Layla says:

    Nancy, I’m sorry if I confused the two acronyms, the ACA being Obamacare, which was forced upon us and is not affordable, and the Republican bill being referred to as the AHCA, which I don’t approve of either.

    I think you got my point.

  44. Sherry says:

    Nancy N and Diana L. . . I would like to be on your mailing list. Can you please tell me how to do that. Please feel free to contact Pierre for my email address.

    I’m often traveling outside the country, but would like the opportunity to march with you when I am in Flagler Beach.

  45. MannyHM says:

    There is so much debate on health care here in the U.S. Why is that ?
    Can we just copy what other countries are doing ? Like Canada, France, Australia, Taiwan, etc. They seem to be happy with what they have.

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