Hemet march one of hundreds across the nation
■ Melissa Diaz Hernandez / Reporter
The Democrats of Hemet-San Jacinto rallied for health care over the weekend in downtown Hemet. More than 60 marchers attended and rallied on March 25 to give their voice to what has become a contentious fight over the future of the country’s healthcare system.
The march was one of hundreds across the country supporting the seventh anniversary of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The day before, The American Healthcare Act of 2017, designed to replace the ACA, did not have enough votes for House Speaker Paul Ryan to bring the bill to a floor vote.
“Today’s end of the Republican health care bill vote means that 270,800 people in our local community will not lose access to preventive services like cancer screening and flu shots, and nearly 90,400 people will not lose coverage due to the elimination of the Medicaid expansion stated Congressman Raul Ruiz, MD, in a release after the vote was pulled from the floor. Dr. Ruiz represents the San Jacinto Valley in District 36. “It also means older Americans won’t face higher, unaffordable costs for coverage and that maternity, mental health, and other essential benefits will remain covered for hard-working families.”
Dr. Ruiz also stated that “Our work is far from over. As a physician, I remain committed to working with Democrats and Republicans alike to bring down premiums and out-of-pocket costs, address the physician shortage crisis, and reduce the cost of prescription drugs for millions of Americans.
We can achieve these goals without kicking millions of people off their health insurance. We must put people above partisanship and solutions above ideology.”
The American Healthcare Act of 2017 was reportedly going to increase the cost of healthcare to low and middle-income Americans.
“We should not have to rely on free health care clinics to serve basic medical care for our veterans, seniors and children,” said Norberto Gonzalez, the group’s vice president, during the rally. Hemet, a community built on its senior population, including veterans, still make-up a good portion of the city’s population.
“When we rallied at Hemet City Hall, a woman shared her story about how she lost her job and COBRA ran out just as the ACA was implemented,” said Joey Aszterbaum, Democratic Action Coordinator. “She had a rare form of aggressive breast cancer and would have died if not for the ACA. Health care is a human rights issue, not a partisan issue. Every major industrialized country has better health outcomes for less cost by having universal health care. And conservatives should also join the fight.”
According to Aszterbaum, there are conservative principles that call for Medicare for all such as decoupling healthcare from employment, which would save small businesses money and assist in increasing entrepreneurship and reduce bureaucracy by eliminating the “middle man” redundancy of the health insurance paradigm. This alone would save 27 percent off the bat, said Aszterbaum.