Protest in Greenfield held to oppose GOP health care bill

Bill faces opposition from both left and right

GREENFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There was a rally in Greenfield on Thursday, in opposition to the federal health care bill.

The bill, known as the American Health Care Act, is supported by President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan, is designed to replace the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as “Obamacare.” The bill was expected to be voted on Thursday, but then postponed.

Democrats universally oppose the bill, with some moderate Republicans leaning against it, expressing concern that it could cause millions of Americans to lose coverage. Some conservative Republicans also oppose the bill, believing that it is not enough of a departure from the Affordable Care Act.

“It’s just a basic moral idea we should have access to affordable health care,” said Candice Lazarus of Haydenville.

About two dozen people gathered for the rally on Thursday at the Town Common in Greenfield. Protesters believe many Franklin County residents would be negatively impacted by this new federal health care bill.

“We just wanted to show the widespread support for affordable access to health care, we are taking this seriously and it means a lot to the community,” said Emily Hildebrand, an organizer of the rally.

Hildebrand said many people in Franklin County rely on Mass Health and the Affordable Care Act.The new bill has a few similarities to Obamacare. It requires insurers to take on customers regardless of any pre-existing condition. It also provides subsidies to people to buy insurance on the individual market.

“I don’t think there is any reason why someone shouldn’t just pay for it, if they’re working and they want health insurance than they can have it,” said Katie Stebbens of Leyden.

The American Health Care Act would reduce the deficit by $337 billion over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Stay with 22News to find out when the house will reschedule the vote.