A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

‘Save our Healthcare’ rally in Frankfort draws opponents of plan to replace Obamacare

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By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

Supporters of a single-payer health care system rallied in Frankfort on Monday calling the GOP’s replacement bill for Obamacare a tax cut for the rich.

About 75 people gathered at the Capitol Rotunda for a “Save Our Healthcare” rally, sponsored by Together Frankfort and other groups dissatisfied with the health care plans offered by Republicans in Washington.

Dustin Hugel, with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, said the American Health Care Act of 2017 is not a health care bill, but a giant tax cut for the wealthiest Americans funded by cuts to low-income healthcare.

About 75 people gathered at the Capitol Rotunda on Monday for a “Save Our Healthcare” rally, sponsored by Together Frankfort and other groups dissatisfied with the health care plan offered by GOP members in Washington. (Kentucky Today/Tom Latek)

“The $664 billion [saved] over 10 years is not for all of us,” said Hugel. “In Kentucky, 91 percent of those tax cuts would go to the top one percent of earners. The average cut for them is over $11,000, and there are only 29,000 people in Kentucky who would see any of it.”

Hugel also said the AHCA bill would take health care away from as many as a half-million.

Kay Tillow, Director of Kentuckians for Single Payer Healthcare, said health care costs in the U. S. are about $10,000 per person annually.

“The health care systems of the other industrialized nations average about $5,000 per capita,” Tillow said. “The tragic story is all those countries with half the money are doing better on outcomes.”

While supportive of the Affordable Care Act, also known as “Obamacare,” the group say they are in favor of a bill sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, D-Michigan, which would establish a nationwide single-payer health care system.

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the plan being proposed in Congress will free Americans from Obamacare mandates.

“By repealing the individual and employer mandates, Americans will no longer be forced to buy insurance they don’t need or can’t afford, and won’t see their hours or take-home pay cut because of Obamacare,” McConnell said.

The Louisville Republican also said the Senate plan will give states more flexibility and resources to address the opioid epidemic and the mental health crisis, “which have devastated communities across the country, especially in Kentucky.”

Participants ended the rally with a march down Capitol Avenue.

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