El Paso

Disabled El Pasoans continue American Health care Act protest

Disabled El Pasoans continue American...

For the fourth day disabled El Pasoans continue to protest the proposed American Health Care Act.

The Congressional Budget Office says the AHCA would increase the number of uninsured people by 23 million over 10 years, but would decrease the federal budget deficit by $119 billion.

Advocacy groups for the disabled say the healthcare cuts could make it impossible for the disabled to live independently.

 "Kids rely on Medicaid, elderly rely on Medicaid, a lot of people in the community rely on Medicaid," said Josue Rodriguez.

Rodriguez has been camping out about 50 yards away from El Paso's Republican party headquarters.

Him and others are protesting the Republican-proposed American Health Care Act.

Like many across the nation Rodriguez is worried about the expected cuts to Medicaid.

The Congressional Budget Office said if passed, the program would cut over $800 billion over the next ten years.

"When I heard cuts to Medicaid I envisioned a lot of the people that I associate myself with, my friends, and they rely on Medicaid for their livelihood," Rodriguez said.

Introduced in March, the healthcare reform bill was passed by the House of Representatives in May.

Disabled El Pasoan Joann Cross said she worries about health care services like medical assistants -- medical equipment and certain medication being cut from the program.

"Personal attendant care services are essential to my daily life of being able to get out of bed, shower, get dressed do my daily activities," Cross said.

Cross told ABC-7 it's not just the disabled that will feel the consequences but children, women and the elderly will see the effects as well.

"In some cases people are on waiting lists in order to get into these programs were we receive services now, so a 26 percent ... you imagine what's going to happen later on," Cross said.

Rodriguez says he'll continue protesting the bill as long as it takes.

"If it means being out here, we'd rather be here than stuck in nursing homes," Rodriguez said.

A majority of Republicans insist the Affordable Health Care Act is collapsing, it's driving up premiums, driving out health care options for patients and American families are paying the price.

Right now there are 13 republicans working to rewrite the legislation but lawmakers have not set a timeline on when it will be complete.


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