The Senate’s newly-proposed health care bill, which seeks to repeal and replace Obamacare, has been the subject of heated debate recently. On Tuesday, June 27th, Indivisible Charlottesville rallied against the bill.
Indivisible Charlottesville is an area group dedicated to promoting democracy, opposing President Trump, and keeping the government accountable. In conjunction with other local groups, members gathered to express discontent with the potential Obamacare replacement. Protestors also demanded that Va Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner halt further action in the Senate until the health care bill is debated in full. Both Senators have expressed disapproval of the new plan.
The Congressional Budget Office estimates that under the Senate version of the bill, 22 million Americans would lose coverage by 2026. Of these 22 million, an estimated 600,000 would be Virginians. For some, this number is unacceptable. Adam Kimelman, President of UVa College Republicans, has a different outlook.
“When the Senate repeals the mandate (fining people $695 or 2.5% of their income, whichever is higher, for not purchasing health insurance), more people are going to make the choice to not purchase health insurance, therefore becoming one of the 22 million who will not have insurance,” said Kimelman. “But it is a choice that they are making themselves. They are not having insurance taken away from them, as Democrats are claiming.”
Anne Greenberg, member of UVa University Democrats, agreed on one point with Kimelman- that Obamacare needs fixing- but sees a very different future for US health insurance.
“Going from a health care bill which aims to help the most people to one, which cuts people off mercilessly encourages insurance monopolies instead of affordable health care…and is incredibly harmful to the United States,” stated Greenberg.
“The bill is not perfect,” said Kimelman, “but premiums are up 70% in some counties, 100% in others, and more and more insurers are dropping plans…Personally, I think the [new] bill is a step in the right direction.”
The Senate will vote on the proposed plan after the July 4th congressional recess. In the mean time, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is looking to revise portions of the bill and bring it back to the Congressional Budget Office for a new score.