YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown hosted a roundtable discussion Sunday afternoon at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown as part of National Day of Action to Save Healthcare.
This comes after The House of Representatives cleared the path for a repeal of the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — on Friday, passing a budget blueprint that would allow Republicans to end provisions of the healthcare law.
Democrats from the area and around the country are hoping if enough people speak up, the repeal won’t happen.
Sunday’s talk at St. E’s focused around how repealing the Affordable Care Act and potential cutbacks to Medicaid and Medicare would affect medical professionals and patients.
Health professionals spoke about the importance of the ACA and its provisions for their clinics.
Former Boardman teacher Christine Terlesky, who is battling ALS, says she was kicked off of her husband’s insurance because her costs were too expensive.
“If it wasn’t for Medicare and other provisions, my family would be bankrupt,” Terlesky said.
Over 20 million Americans rely on the Affordable Care Act for health insurance. Almost one million of those are in Ohio.
Senator Brown said Obamacare isn’t perfect, but it does more good than harm.
“There are some things that need to be fixed,” Brown said. “But what people had before this — they were either uninsured or their insurance plans were much worse than this. This has clearly made a positive.”
People also gathered outside Trumbull Memorial Hospital holding signs and voicing their concerns about the future of health care.
“Health care should be a human right,” Lauren Mathews, a protester, said. “The plan to repeal without anything to replace it does mean peoples lives.”
WYTV spoke with Republican Ohio Senator Rob Portman on Friday.
He said the idea is to get healthcare costs down and give people more choices. Portman added that he wants to keep language covering patients with preexisting conditions, while those getting coverage now are not left without it.