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Chicagoans Rally To Fight GOP Effort To Repeal Affordable Care Act

By aaroncynic in News on Jan 16, 2017 4:01PM

Tracy Trovato tells the story of how the Affordable Care Act helped her family weather the financial storm of her husband's fight to survive his battle with Leukemia.

Hundreds gathered at a rally in East Pilsen on Sunday to denounce President Elect Donald Trump and GOP lawmaker’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The two-hour event included speeches from recipients of President Barack Obama’s landmark legislation, representatives from labor and health care organizations and Illinois politicians including U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, the Reverend Jesse Jackson and more.

Republicans have promised to repeal the ACA, also known as Obamacare, since Trump won the election in November. They took their first steps earlier this month via budgetary votes in Congress that allow for parts of the healthcare law to be rolled back. Over the weekend, the President Elect told the Washington Post that his plans to replace it, which neither he or any other Republicans have provided any details on whatsoever, would provide “insurance for everybody.”

“If you have ever had a moment in your life when you were a father of a sick daughter and had no health insurance, you’ll remember it as long as you live,” said Durbin. “I was that father. God forbid anyone else would have to live through this wondering if your daugther was going to get the medical care she absolutely needed.”

Durbin said that some 1.2 Illinoisans could lose their health insurance, roughly ten percent of the state’s population.

Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, who said that a new study shows that Illinois could also lose more than 117,000 jobs in 2019 and $33 billion federal dollars, called on Gov. Bruce Rauner to rebuke the repeal.

“Where is Governor Rauner’s voice? He should be shouting from the rooftops of all his houses,” she told the crowd.

The rally was one of many held across the country Sunday, where politicians spoke alongside those who would be affected by the sudden loss of their healthcare.

"Two months after aging into Medicare, I got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer," Scott Gledhill told the Tribune at a rally in Bowie, Maryland. "My bill would have been half a million dollars. I would have lost everything I had, after a whole lifetime of work and saving."

"Our job today is to defend the ACA," Vermont Senator and former candidate for the Democratic nominee for president Bernie Sanders said at a Michigan rally that drew 10,000. "Our job tomorrow is to bring about a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system."

“There is nothing in the world that can prepare you to hear the words ‘it’s Leukemia,” said Tracy Trovato, who told the audience about her husband’s battle surviving the cancer. “Cancer is expensive. I knew that when I called our insurance company and asked whether this awful disease could bankrupt us. That day I learned some of the sweetest words an insurance representative can say - ‘no ma’am, you don’t have a lifetime cap anymore, President Obama took care of that.