Health care changes a life/death situation for some


The GOP health care bill will affect everyone in the nation, including people in the Lowcountry. A group of them spoke out against the AHCA Thursday evening. Dozens came out and stood along Main Street in Summerville holding signs which illustrated their strong views on healthcare. For some, it was their frustration with politics and for others, it was much more serious.

“I think they’re playing a lot of politics right now and I just feel like they need to put people first and quit scaring people,” said Russell Smith, who said his experience with Obamacare has been easy.

“Why do these guys have their ego so much in a bunch that you need to repeal it?” said Summerville resident Rita Kazirskis. “Fix what we’ve got!”

The rally at Hutchinson Square was hosted by the groups Indivisible Summerville and the Community Resource Center. People from different political backgrounds shared their personal stories with the crowd, some expressing fear over losing mandated provisions.

Leslie Bracken shared her battle with mental illness. Bracken has bi-polar disorder. For her, coverage means the difference between life and death. Her illness requires eight prescription medications, psychiatric care, therapy and occasionally hospitalization.

“I would die. I would end up killing myself,” Bracken said. “I couldn’t buy those medications and I couldn’t see those doctors, the depression would take over.”

Smith said the Affordable Care Act has worked for him and his family, especially since some have pre-existing conditions. He said the ACA lives up to its name. Before it, he said health coverage for his family cost between $700-$800 a month with a $10,000 deductible.

“We’ve retained all our doctors, trident health care is in our network, MUSC is in our network, primary care physicians, we didn’t lose any doctors,” Smith said.

White House, in gamble, demands make-or-break health vote

Abandoning negotiations, President Donald Trump demanded a make-or-break vote on health care legislation in the House, threatening to leave "Obamacare" in place and move on to other issues if Friday's vote fails.

The risky move, part gamble and part threat, was presented to GOP lawmakers behind closed doors Thursday night after a long and intense day that saw a planned vote on the health care bill scrapped as the legislation remained short of votes amid cascading negotiations among conservative lawmakers, moderates and others.

At the end of it the president had had enough and was ready to vote and move on, whatever the result, Trump's budget director Mick Mulvaney told lawmakers. READ MORE

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