About a dozen people came together on Wednesday afternoon on Flagler Drive to protest the new healthcare bill presented by the Trump administration.
“All Americans need access to safe and affordable healthcare,” said one protester.
For many protesters, healthcare is personal.
“My sister is 63-years-old, recently medically disabled,” said Kate Goldberg from West Palm Beach at the protest. “If it wasn’t for Medicaid, she would have no health insurance whatsoever. I’m terrified for the people who don’t have access.”
Lisa Tilson from Boca Raton had a similar personal connection to healthcare. Her father, a lifelong Republican, had to rely on Medicaid at the end of his life.
“If this bill passes like it is tomorrow, he wouldn’t have had that. And he deserved that dignity in his life,” Tilson said. “Healthcare and Social Security are not partisan issues.“
On the other side of the political aisle, Paula Prudente, an early supporter of President Trump, said while she is still cautious of the new law, she hopes Obamacare will be repealed.
“I can’t afford the Affordable Care Act,” Prudente said.
The retired teacher said it was cheaper for her to pay the annual tax penalty and pay her healthcare bills out of pocket than sign up for an ACA plan.
“I worked three jobs,” Prudente said. “I have to work to pay for the big (healthcare plans for) Congress and Senate? Fancy Cadillac plans? Why don’t they take money from the Senate and Congress and give it to the taxpayers?”
With proposed cuts to Medicaid, some fear the new healthcare bill will make things worse.
“I’m on Medicare, I’m 69-years-old,” Goldberg said. “When will they come for me?”
Voters on both sides of the aisle will pay close attention to how their representatives will vote on Thursday.
It could come down to the slimmest of margins. The bill needs 216 votes to get passed. Without any support form Democrats, the administration can’t lose many votes from Republicans.
Reports on Wednesday show how Florida’s Republican representatives will vote on the bill:
- T. Rooney
- F. Rooney