More than 100 show up outside McSally's office to protest plan t - Tucson News Now

More than 100 show up outside McSally's office to protest plan to replace ACA

(Source: Tucson News Now) (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Nearly 150 people jammed the sidewalk outside Congresswoman Martha McSally's eastside office to protest the Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

The protesters were peppered with people aged 60-64, those thought to be most vulnerable to rising premiums.

Bonnie Heidler, who is 63 years old and retired, pays $800 a month under the ACA but said her premiums would double under the Republican's American Health Care Plan.

"So, I'll be paying about $1,600 a month, that's about $20,000 a year," she said. "I'm on a fixed income right now and so that makes it a little scary to me."

Organizers targeted McSally because they said her District 2 would be hard hit.

They said the number of people in the district who would lose preventable care could reach 328,000.

The number who gained coverage through the marketplace who will not be covered under the Republican plan, plus those who will lose coverage when expanded Medicaid is eliminated numbers about 58,000.

Another 23,900 would lose the subsidies they now receive under the ACA, which will force many out of the market, especially the self employed.

Amber Pierson is one of those.

The 57-year-old Pierson is self-employed, her husband recently retired and her college-aged son is a cancer survivor.

"Right now, we're on a COBRA plan but that runs out," she said.

When it does, she faces an uncertain future, in part, because of her son.

"I'm very worried about it," she said. "I'm laying awake at night worried about it, more for him than anything else."

Another person who faces an uncertain health care future is Claire Ellington, a 63-year-old self-employed artist who just got insurance two years ago.

"I went down to sign up for the ACA, thinking I could afford $140, $150 a month and discovered I was eligible for extended Medicaid," she said.

She now gets her check-ups and feels good about it but if extended Medicaid goes away, she may be without again or have a policy which doesn't do her much good.

"Whether I could find an insurance policy, it would probably be a super high deductible, catastrophic only plan," she said "It would be the only thing I could possibly afford."

They left the protest after an hour knowing they had made a statement but still had the same fears.


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