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Demonstrators Say AHCA a Death Sentence, Rally Outside Rep. Long’s Office

Healthcare rally
Ryan Welch
About three dozen protestors lined up outside Rep. Long's office on East Battlefield Friday.

Protestors who gathered outside Rep. Billy Long’s Springfield office Friday say their disappointed in the Republican’s reversal on the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed the U.S. House a day earlier.

Demonstrators with Planned Parenthood, the MO Medicaid Coalition, and others held signs reading “TrumpCare = Despair,” among others, near Long’s east Battlefield office.

Healthcare Rally
Credit Ryan Welch / KSMU

Earlier in the week, the southwest Missouri Republican said he was against the law, but changed his stance after amendments to the bill.

19-year-old James Moore is an advocate for Planned Parenthood.

“We’re here to hold him accountable because he’s not voting in the interests of us or the people of Missouri.”

Moore also thinks this new bill, if approved by the Senate, will have no benefits for him.

“Moving forward it is only going to get worse for me I believe.  I mean I do not know all the ins and outs of the bill unfortunately, but I do know that it’s tailored to benefit the wealthier Americans.”

The new bill would eliminate higher taxes that were placed on the rich under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.  

The bill also cuts funding for Medicaid by more than $800 billion. Additionally, it would add funding to high risk pools for people with preexisting conditions, which is what Long’s office said changed his mind from a “no” to a “yes” vote.

Other signs at Friday’s rally read “Make misogyny great again,” and “Don’t take away my breast exams,” a sign held by Hollis Thomas.

“I’m very upset that the current administration is taking away what I consider our basic human rights. We need more access to care, not less,” she says.   

Thomas, 61, who worked in healthcare all of her life, thinks the AHCA is a death sentence for way too many. 

The bill is now in the hands of the U.S. Senate, where its future is uncertain.

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