ACA advocates rally as GOP tax plan looks to end mandate

Updated: Nov. 6, 2017 at 9:38 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Local Affordable Care Act advocates rallied to remind people to get covered as the enrollment period is opened, and hoped lawmakers heard their plea to keep universal healthcare.

A handful of people showed up for the rally, organized by the Arizonans United for Healthcare, at what they believe is a newly-opened Congressional Leadership Fund office in Tucson.

According to a news release, the group wants to demand that Republicans, "pledge to stop their efforts to repeal and sabotage the Affordable Care Act."

The Congressional Leadership Fund is, "the leading Super PAC supporting Republican candidates for the U.S. House, spending $50 million during the 2016 cycle," according to a sign posted on the building's window near North Country Club and Glenn Street.

The rally happened as House Republicans are weighing a repeal of a key tenet of the Obama-era health care law as the tax-writing committee begins work on crafting the bill, according to an Associated Press report.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Sunday the GOP is discussing scrapping the health law's requirement for the individual and employer mandate, saying that people must have insurance coverage or face a penalty.

One doctor at Monday's rally said it's an attempt to weaken Obamacare.

"All of the parts are necessary to make them all work as a whole. If one leg after another is kicked out from beneath it, it won't function as well as it should, and people will suffer. The mandate is an important part of that and it would be a devastating blow," said Dr. Jeffrey Rein, an adult internal medicine and pediatric specialist.

The latest Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill, which never went to a vote in the Senate, would have reportedly eliminated the individual and employer mandate.

Despite several knocks on the door, no one was available for comment at the supposed Congressional Leadership Fund office, in an attempt to get their reaction to the rally outside their building.

Open enrollment for the Affordable Care Act is underway and continues through December 15.

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