Hundreds protest in Grand Rapids against repeal of Obamacare

Posted at 7:48 AM, Jan 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-15 19:22:25-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Opponents of the plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, protested Sunday afternoon downtown.

Hundreds of demonstrators turned out to protest at 1 p.m. at Calder Plaza.

“I think health care is a right and I think the talk of taking health care aware from millions of people shouldn’t happen and we should stand up for that,” said Diana Davidson of Spring Lake.

Several state lawmakers also attended the rally and spoke to the crowd, including Rep. Jon Hoadley, D-Kalamazoo, Rep. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gretchen Whitmer.

“We should work to fix the ACA as opposed to just getting rid of it,” Hoadley told FOX 17. “The reality is hundreds of thousands of families are getting care they need to provide for their children or pursue their dreams and a plan that repeals that without replacing it is a disaster to our economy, it’s a disaster for families.”

Protesters finished the rally with a march ending at Republican Congressman Justin Amash’s office.

“ObamaCare as it stands is failing and will soon collapse under its own weight,” Rep. Bill Huizenga, R-Michigan, said in a statement provided to FOX 17 Sunday.

“It’s important to remember that patient protections, such as those preventing insurance companies from excluding coverage due to pre-existing conditions or dropping consumers because of costs associated with long-term care, are not exclusive to ObamaCare. My colleagues and I are determined to strengthen these important protections.”

The Grand Rapids rally was part of a larger, coordinated effort to hold rallies in cities across the country.

In Warren, a suburb just outside of Detroit, thousands of people showed up to U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders speak in support of President Barack Obama’s signature health care law.

Trump has promised a speedy repeal and replacement of the law that was one of Obama’s proudest achievements.

People were lined up four abreast for the length of 3 or 4 football fiends waiting to get in to the rally Sunday in a parking lot at Macomb Community College in Warren.

The law delivered health coverage to about 20 million people but is saddled with problems such as rapidly rising premiums and large co-payments.

Republicans in Congress have begun the process of repeal.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.