Thursday morning a group of about 10 Boone County residents gathered in front of Representative Vicky Hartzler’s Columbia office off Providence Road. They held signs asking cars to “honk for health care” with some drivers validating their request. Other signs included “24,000 people matter” and “Don’t take my health care.” That was one of many rallies organized by Missouri Health Care for All across Missouri giving residents a chance to urge their Congressional Representative to vote against American Health Care Act.
The Republican backed bill would replace Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The vote on the American Health Care Act in the U.S. House of Representatives scheduled for Thursday has been postponed without an exact reschedule date.
The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the American Health Care Act would reduce the federal deficit by $337 billion, but it would also drop 24 million people from insurance by 2026.
“We have to let our legislators know, I hope Legislator Hartzler knows how important this is to her constituents,” said Debbie Sheals, Boone County resident. “Democrat or Republican this is a major issue and we’ve got to speak out and I hope she listens.”
Rep. Hartzler’s website states her stance on health care, it said “President Obama’s namesake tax, Obamacare, forces Americans to buy government-approved insurance programs or else face an extra tax burden. The federal government should not force its citizens to buy a private product and then strictly mandate what is in that product.”
One Boone County resident, Valerie Berta, will lose her health insurance if the American Health Care Act passes. She says lives are more important than money.
“It’s our health, it’s our lives, health care saves lives,” said Berta. “Everyone is going to get sick eventually, even if you’re young and healthy.”