WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – Inside a packed meeting, Warren City Council voted to pass an emergency measure concerning the American Health Care Act.
Members voted 9 to 1 to pass the resolution opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
This now puts Warren alongside several other cities in the state — including Youngstown — that are going on record by calling on Congress to equally represent the people of Ohio.
About ten people protested the Republican health care act before heading into the council meeting Wednesday night. They made sure their message was loud and clear.
“This is so important for our local officials to send the message to Washington and Senator Portman. Don’t turn your backs on your constituents,” said Karen Zehr, with Valley Voices United for Change.
For some it was so personal, they took a trip to Senator Portman’s Washington, D.C. office to protest earlier this week.
“I was one of the 80 protesters that got arrested. I went because I have been living with HIV for 20 years. The total of all my medicine is over $11,000 a month,” said Oga Irwin, co-chair of Ohio Positive Women’s Network.
Republicans in the Senate plan to unveil a new health plan, possibly on Thursday. Whether it guarantees coverage for pre-existing conditions or Medicaid expansion remains to be seen.
“Our citizens and veterans are in nursing homes and they can’t wait, and it’s their voice that we speak for,” said Helen Rucker, Council At Large.
Mayor Doug Franklin thinks it’s a bad idea, too.
“Gutting it is the worst thing that could happen and we all have a responsibility to speak up and speak out on this issue that affects all Americans,” he said.
The only person on Warren City Council to vote “no” was Third Ward Councilman John Brown, Jr.