Protesters in Cleveland Urge GOP Sen. Portman to Reject the GOP's Obamacare Replacement

Mar 17, 2017

Protestors staged an all-day demonstration outside the Cleveland office of Ohio Sen. Rob Portman yesterday.  They were calling on the Republican senator to oppose the congressional plan to replace Obamacare. 

'It's about prevention; it's about taking care of the least of us.'

A handful of protesters showed up late in the morning outside of Portman’s office. It was one of several nationwide at the Senate and House district offices of other senators and members of Congress. Protestor Fran Calafatis says Portman holds an important vote.

“We know that we need three more senators and we need 22 (from the) House of Representatives to switch over and support the Democrats in this and keep the Affordable Care Act. We feel very, very strongly in this three-prong attack. It’s about the fact that it’s: 'Keep families healthy, it’s about prevention, it’s about taking care of the least of us.'”

Portman’s office restated his position that he believes Obamacare is unstainable and needs to be replaced, but he opposes the Medicaid expansion rollback proposed in the Republican plan.

The loss of Medicaid coverage is an issue that brought Cindy Oakley to the Portman demonstration.

“My son is on the autism spectrum;he receives Medicaid from the state of Ohio. If the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid is destroyed, and we lose our services. And not only do we lose our services, all the disabled people in Ohio lose services.”

Protestor Cathy Brown adds that losing Medicaid would be devastating to many Ohioans.

“There are 700,000 Ohioans who would lose Medicaid coverage. One of the things that doesn’t get talked about much is 45 percent of the people on Medicaid are disabled or elderly. They represent 85 percent of the money spent under that program. They’re really going to be hurt by these changes.”

The Cleveland chapter of the AFL-CIO is also calling on Portman to oppose the dismantling of Obamacare. The group has delivered a box of petitions to his Cleveland office making that pitch.