Demonstrators rally against Senate health care bill in Northampton

Concerned citizens wore red to show they are on "red alert"

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Dozens gathered in front of Northampton’s City Hall Thursday to show their disapproval of the new Senate healthcare bill.

Concerned citizens wore red shirts, hats and dresses to show that they are on “red alert” when it comes to health care. Demonstrators cheered, clapped and banged on pots and pans as speakers shared their dismay with the new bill.

Members of “Progressive Pioneer Valley” organized the event. They also collaborated with several local groups, including “What Now” and “Franklin County Continuing the Political Revolution.”

Northampton resident Betsy Cook told 22News, she’d like to see the United States join other economically developed nations and adopt universal health care for all Americans.

“I would like to see medicare for all because I think that’s ultimately where we’re going to end up. The sooner we work towards that I think the better off we’ll all be.”

The Senate bill would cut back federal support of Medicaid and eliminate Obamacare’s taxes on the wealthy and insurers.

Still, the Senate bill would require insurers to cover preexisting conditions and charge everyone the same rates, regardless of health history. However, under the new bill, states would be allowed to waive federal mandates on what insurers cover. This means people with preexisting conditions may not have all of their treatments covered.

Republicans are hoping for a vote next week. They will need to get 50 of 52 Republicans to vote “Yes” in order for it to pass in the Senate.