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In Advance of Anticipated Vote on AHCA, those Opposed Deliver Message to Congressman Billy Long

Royce Reding
Michele Skalicky

Update 3:30 pm: A vote on a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act has been delayed, as NPR reports. There were not enough votes to pass the bill as of Thursday afternoon, although a vote could come Friday.

Original story:

Representatives of Faith Voices of Southwest Missouri and the Springfield Branch of the NAACP shared their concerns about the American Health Care Act with Congressman Billy Long’s field manager, Royce Reding, Thursday.

The group delivered a letter in support of the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, to Long’s office and presented a short program and prayer.

George Latimer is a retired pastor.

"Obamacare was a good first step," Latimer said.  "Personally, I would like to see us move toward a single payer system, but the AHCA is not getting us any closer to that.  It's taking us further away."

The group’s letter to Congressman Long states that if the ACA “is repealed and not replaced by a plan of equal magnitude, more than 20 million previously newly-insured individuals stand to lose their health coverage.”

After the presentation, Reding explained why Congressman Long planned to vote for the AHCA.

Reding said, "a vote against this is a vote to keep the Affordable Care Act, and the Affordable Care Act has been something that has not been a good policy for his constituents."

Shortly after the letter was delivered, Missouri Health Care for All held a rally outside Billy Long’s office.  The group said the AHCA would make deep cuts to federal funding for Missouri’s Medicaid program, “almost certainly leading to cuts in care for the state’s most vulnerable people.”