Obamacare supporters gathered in front of Mobile’s federal courthouse Monday, with about 100 people protesting Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
As AL.com reports, Monday afternoon’s rally – organized by Mobile attorney Henry Brewster – was part of a statewide effort to get Alabama Sens. Richard Shelby and Luther Strange to “agree to meet face to face with their constituents regarding the health care bill working its way through Congress.”
Last week, the Senate revealed its version of the health care bill and their attempt to rollback Obamacare. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky was hoping to have a vote by as soon as Wednesday but faces strong resistance by several key conservatives, including Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ted Cruz of Texas, Utah’s Mike Lee and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin.
Those four senators announced they would oppose the Senate bill without changes, effectively slowing down any chance of passage as is.
Similar protests were held both in Alabama and across the country Monday, including one outside the Birmingham’s Robert S. Vance Federal Building and Courthouse.
Both Strange and Shelby have indicated they are leaning toward “yes” if the bill comes to a vote on the Senate floor.
Strange is already committing to support this bill, while Shelby told FOX Business he was “encouraged by key provisions in the Senate bill, which would repeal Obamacare’s disastrous individual and employer mandates, repeal taxes on chronic care, health savings accounts, and medical devices, and put Medicaid on a budget that works for individual states.”
Brewster told reporters that the bill was essentially a $400 billion tax cut “for the 1 percent,” and called for anyone within earshot to express their disapproval to the senators, via phone and social media.
“It is critically important that we make as much noise as possible to them,” Brewster said.
Among the elected officials speaking at the rally: District 1 Mobile County Commissioner Merceria Ludgood, Democratic State Rep. Barbara Drummond of Montgomery and Lorenzo Martin, who serves on the Prichard City Council.
Ludgood said it was a “sad reason to have to come together,” adding she was “outraged” by the effort to repeal Obamacare, “because the calculation is not about human lives, it’s about dollars.”
At the same time, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its report on the bill, saying that as many as 22 million people would lose health coverage in the next decade under the Senate’s plan. While 15 million would lose Medicaid coverage, the plan would lower the nation’s deficit by billions over 10 years, with substantial tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.
While 15 million would lose Medicaid coverage, the Senate plan, as it stands, would lower the nation’s deficit by billions over 10 years, providing substantial tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy.