Keeping the Affordable Care Act was the focus of a rally in Atlanta Monday that drew more than 200 people to Liberty Plaza in front of the state Capitol.
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It was part of “Save My Care,” a national, two month, cross-country bus tour protesting the possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
At the rally, Georgia residents shared stories of near-death experiences and surviving cancer.
Hannah Hawkins said the ACA helped her find affordable health insurance because she had a pre-existing spine condition: scoliosis.
“Since I’ve been on the ACA, I’ve gotten a mammogram, a sinus surgery that keeps me from getting sick all the time, physical therapy to help me with my scoliosis,” Hawkins said. “I’m healthier than I’ve been in a long time. And now I’m looking at that getting taken away.”
Hawkins is among the nearly 494,000 Georgians who plan to get their health care coverage through the ACA this year.
She held a sign that read “My Family Can’t Survive Without The ACA.” She said possible changes to Medicaid that could affect her kids, who have special needs.
“Repealing this law would really destabilize the market and it would throw the health system into chaos,” said Cindy Zeldin, who leads the group Georgians for A Healthy Future. “And the result of that would be more people losing coverage than had even gained it. Quite a lot at risk here for everybody.”
Hawkins said when she didn’t have health insurance, she illegally purchased her medication on the internet. She said she worries about having to do it again.
The “Save My Care” bus circled the Capitol during the rally. It’s sponsored by a coalition of groups including labor unions and physician organizations.
It has sponsored more than 30 rallies in 13 states so far. Its next stop is Nashville, Tenn.