EXPOSITION PARK (CBSLA.com) — Thousands rallied in Exposition Park Sunday in support of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare.
Donald Trump and a Republican Congress have vowed to repeal President Obama’s signature legislation.
Democratic Senator Kamala Harris joined hundreds of health care workers, nurses, advocates, patients, and seniors for the rally to protect California’s health care after Republicans in the Senate voted early Thursday morning to strip care from 30 million Americans, including 5 million Californians.
Cancer survivor Steven Martin trembled and wept when he met Harris.
“It’s very moving to know you have people rooting for you, especially when you’re fighting with everything you have,” Martin said.
His fight was cancer — diagnosed at the age of 26.
He says he’s alive today because of the Affordable Care Act, which Martin says made medical coverage possible – with a part time job.
“I would not have been able to afford it any other way. I remember what health care was like right before it changed. It was not easy to access. I went a whole year without health care for a while,” Martin says.
Today, Martin and hundreds of others took part in a rally outside LA County – USC Medical Center to defend Obamacare with Congress moving closer to repeal the law. Obamacare expanded coverage to five-million Californians.
The founder of Latinos for Trump says the Republican-controlled Congress isn’t trying to take health coverage away from anyone.
“Everybody needs to be covered. That’s his word and that’s what the democrats are leaving out. It’s repeal and replace. They always leave that out,” says Jorge Herrera, founder of Latinos for Trump.
Democrats have criticized the incoming administration for not having a replacement in the wings.
But Jorge Herrera says it’s all on President-elect Trump’s website – which aims to cut rising costs that have been linked to the ACA.
“One of my favorite things, he’s proposing we remove these state lines so insurers can compete with each other across from state lines that will drive pricing down competition up and give us a shot to get really good health care coverage for all Americans,” Herrera says.
Sen. Harris says the ACA protects people with pre-existing conditions. Previously, health care companies could deny people for a variety of reasons.
“If you are victim of domestic violence, that you can be denied access to health care because being a victim of domestic violence is considered a pre-existing condition. That ain’t right,” she said.
Even though the GOP controls both the House and Senate – they still need votes from Democrats to come up with a replacement plan.