A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Protestors line sidewalk outside McConnell’s Ft. Wright office to protest Republican health care plan

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Around 100 demonstrators lined the sidewalk outside of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s Ft. Wright office to the protest the Republican health care plan on Monday.

The event was co-sponsored by Indivisible NKY-District 4, NKY Unites!, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, the Northern Kentucky chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Northern Kentucky Democrats, the Tri-State Freethinkers and the Northern Kentucky Justice and Peace Committee are co-sponsoring the event.

For many of those in attendance, this legislation will have profound, personal impact. They carried signs with stark messages such as, “If the AHCA passes, I will die” and “Mitch, you’re killing us!!!”

Serena Owen, a member of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, said “As a parent of children with disabilities, I am concerned that the bill will put at risk expanded Medicaid that helps individuals with disabilities, desperate families, including parents taking care of children with disabilities. If our elected officials truly care about improving the quality of life of their constituents, they will help them keep their Affordable Healthcare and not harm them with this repeal legislation.”

Protestors shared chants describing their goals, such as “Everybody In, Nobody Out” and “Healthcare is a Right.” The predicted loss of coverage for tens of millions of Americans was a key concern.

“The Senate’s healthcare bill is callous, unworkable, and politically motivated,” said Sister Mary Joyce Moeller, CDP and member of the Northern Kentucky Justice and Peace Committee, “Adequate healthcare is a basic human right, no matter one’s income or status.   If enacted, millions who have secured healthcare for the first time in their lives will eventually lose it—so the rich can get richer.”

Several of the protestors visited Senator McConnell’s office to leave a note and share their concerns with Shane Noem, Senator McConnell’s Northern Kentucky field representative. Both the protest and the discussions in the building proceeded civilly and without incident.

There were frequent honks and thumbs up from the cars passing the group on Dixie Highway. This public attention was important to the organizers, who had a goal of drawing attention to the lack of committee meetings, testimony from experts and patient groups or input from those most affected in the drafting of the bill.

“The debate and activity surrounding healthcare should be done in an open and transparent matter.” said Roberto Henriquez, organizational leader NKY Unites!

Michelle Slaughter added, “Senator Mitch McConnell is supposed to be Kentucky’s voice in the U.S. Senate. Instead he is leading a behind closed doors effort to draft and pass a health care bill that will adversely impact the lives of many Kentuckians.”

The organizations involved in this action say they will continue to fight to make sure that the people of Kentucky do not lose the gains they achieved under the Affordable Care Act

The organizations involved were:

Indivisible NKY District 4
Indivisible NKY District 4 is a grassroots activist group that supports inclusion, equality, transparency and honesty in government.

NKY Unites!
NKY Unites! are united Northern Kentuckians who value diversity and its benefits to our community.

NKY Chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth:Tri-State Freethinkers
We are freethinkers from the OH, IN and KY area who plan to make a difference by being active in the community and standing against church-state violations.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio is committed to protecting our reproductive rights and preventing unintended pregnancies and controlling the spread of STD’s.

Northern Kentucky Justice and Peace Committee
Northern Kentucky Justice and Peace Committee educates and advocates for peace, challenges unjust local, national, and global systems, and promotes the creation of a non-violent society. NKJPC is a committee of the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center in Cincinnati.

Sen. Mitch McConnell’s office released the following statement: “Americans need relief from the failed Obamacare law. The Senate will soon take action on a bill that the Congressional Budget Office just confirmed will reduce the growth in premiums under Obamacare, reduce taxes on the middle class, and reduce the deficit. The American people need better care now, and this legislation includes the necessary tools to provide it.”

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