SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – Dozens of people in Savannah called it a celebration, and today they took to the streets of downtown Savannah speaking out following the latest failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
It’s uncertain what the plan is next for healthcare. The people who are celebrating the GOP failure to repeal hope it pushes them as well as Democrats to a compromise on the issue.
“We’re here to celebrate the fact that the American Healthcare Act was not brought to a vote but we’re also here to raise awareness that the fight is far from over,” says event organizer Katie Pincura who is studying for a doctorate in public health administration at Georgia Southern.
Pincura says that fight is complex, the focus of the many groups rallying is advocating for healthcare policies fair to everyone rich and poor, sick or healthy. Many rally goers do agree that the current law needs help.
“Now I know Obamacare needs to be fixed there are problems with it, but if you take it away, you’re going to eliminate that safety net that is going to be devastating for people who need it most,” says June Hopkins who is taking part in the rally with other women she works with to advocate for better healthcare laws.
People like Marianne Sheldon who’s Medicare coverage helped her pay for battling and beating stage four ovarian cancer.
“I was supposed to be dead by now, if I hadn’t had insurance you know I would be dead,” says Sheldon.
She’s worried repealing healthcare would result in favoring business over the public.
“To my mind, taking away people’s health insurance is a form of genocide because you’re targeting the poor, you’re targeting the sick, you’re targeting people who really have no way of fighting back,” Sheldon adds.
While it’s a brief celebration of failure, advocates see current law is not working with companies leaving the exchange and premiums fluctuating as well as rising across the country. They hope lawmakers use the loss as a lesson to maybe think reform instead of repeal.
“There are some really good parts of it, and there are parts that need to be reformed and I truly believe, that if we followed appropriate bipartisan work on this we could get the things that are troublesome reformed,” says Rosemary Mackey who leads a women’s group that talks healthcare advocacy.