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PNS Weekend Newscast - June 25th, 2017 


Here's what we're covering.....Another Republican has come out against President Trump's healthcare bill, advocates across the country are speaking out about the new GOP plan for healthcare, and actor Johnny Depp is apologizing for joking around the President Donald Trump should be assassinated

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Advocates Cite Personal Toll of Obamacare Repeal in Bay State

Personal-care attendant Julie Gonzales is among the union members speaking out and describing the human toll repealing the Affordable Care Act would have on Massachusetts residents. (1199 SEIU).
Personal-care attendant Julie Gonzales is among the union members speaking out and describing the human toll repealing the Affordable Care Act would have on Massachusetts residents. (1199 SEIU).
May 30, 2017

BOSTON -- With the future of the GOP plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act in doubt, local health care workers and their allies say there is little doubt the GOP plan could end health coverage for up to 1-in-10 Bay Staters.

Personal Care Attendant Julie Gonzales was among the 1199 SEIU members who gathered outside Gov. Charlie Baker's office just prior to the long weekend. Gonzalez said her two kids depend on MassHealth for their coverage, which would be in jeopardy under the Republican health plan. She said she’s also concerned that a woman she provides care for could lose her coverage for the personal-care services.

"We all need insurance to be able to take care of ourselves, to be able to live healthy lives, to be able to be seen at the doctor,” Gonzales said. "It's just like the air that we breathe and the food that we need to eat, because these are essential things that are important to us as a human being in life."

Clergy, advocacy and consumer groups joined union members at the governor's office. They wanted to draw attention to an Urban Institute analysis concluding that 1-in-10 people in the state could be uninsured by 2022 under the GOP Plan.

Despite having the week-long Memorial Day recess to work on it, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he’s not sure he can find the votes to pass the GOP's American Health Care Act.

Thanks in part to the Affordable Care Act, the state uninsured rate has dropped to less than 3 percent, said Nikko Mendoza, communications director with United Healthcare Workers East. Mendoza said if the GOP repeal-and-replace plan were to take effect, all the progress made over the last decade could be lost.

"The American Health Care Act would decimate funding for MassHealth, which is our Medicaid Program,” Mendoza said; "and 445,000 Massachusetts residents could potentially lose their health insurance coverage as a result."

She said one major goal of the action at the governor's office was to show the devastating human toll the GOP's plan to repeal and replace Obamacare could take.

Politico has reported Senate Republicans distancing themselves from the House-approved version of the AHCA following the Congressional Budget Office assessment that found 23 million Americans could lose coverage under the plan.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - MA