Pro­test­ers rip U.S. Se­nate’s pro­posal

Sen. Ben­net joins crowd to crit­i­cize GOP’s scheme

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Tom McGhee

More than 100 peo­ple ral­lied Sun­day at the state Capi­tol to con­demn a plan to re­place the Af­ford­able Care Act with a Repub­li­can al­ter­na­tive that they said will strip cov­er­age from mil­lions while de­liv­er­ing a tax cut to the rich.

“Repub­li­cans should aban­don this bill that no­body wants,” Demo­cratic U.S. Sen. Michael Ben­net, told the crowd at the rally, ar­ranged by the Colorado Con­sumer Health Ini­tia­tive.

The Se­nate is con­sid­er­ing a GOP health care bill that would keep in­tact much of the 2010 health care law, known as Oba­macare, but would elim­i­nate a large por­tion of fund­ing that makes it avail­able to low-in­come peo­ple. The bill would cut fund­ing for Med­i­caid, which was ex­panded un­der the ACA. Le­cia Pa­padopou­los, whose 20-year-old-daugh­ter was born with cys­tic fi­bro­sis and is se­verely dis­abled, said the Med­i­caid pro­gram made it pos­si­ble for her daugh­ter to get care she needs at a res­i­den­tial fa­cil­ity. With­out that, Pa­padopou­los said, she would have to stay home from work to give her daugh­ter the in­ten­sive care she needs at her own home. In­di­vid­u­als with se­vere in­tel­lec­tual and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties de­pend on Med­i­caid to main­tain in­de­pen­dent liv­ing. Home and com­mu­nity- based ser­vices, as they’re called, al­low for in-home care and help in­di­vid­u­als con­tinue to go to work and par­tic­i­pate in their com­mu­nity. “Med­i­caid saved my daugh­ter’s life and my abil­ity to give her a home, and still be able to work,” she said. The Rev. Ti­mothy Tyler of Shorter Com­mu­nity AME Church urged the crowd to call U.S. Sen. Cory Gard­ner and tell him to vote against the bill. “Call Sen. Gard­ner, and let him know the same peo­ple who put him into of­fice are more than ex­cited to take him out,” Tyler said. “This health care bill is de­signed to kill. … It is de­signed to make the rich richer and the sick sicker.”

Daniel Bren­ner, spe­cial to The Den­ver Post

Dale Terasaki speaks Sun­day dur­ing a rally at the state Capi­tol to protest Repub­li­cans’ health care pro­posal.

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