Washington County VA

Protestors in southwest Va. rally to save Obamacare

Protestors in SWVa. rally to save...

Republican members of Congress want to replace the Affordable Care Act with a less expensive plan that requires fewer taxes.

President Donald Trump said efforts to change the health care system could continue through 2018.

Meanwhile, here in our region, dozens rallied in favor of the ACA in front of Congressman Morgan Griffith's office. Griffith is in favor of repealing Obamacare. But these protestors hope their voices will make him reconsider.

"I'm fighting congress for my life," Matt Skeens said. Skeens is a two-time cancer survivor. 

"I actually had a tumor removed from the base of my brain and it was because of the Affordable Care Act, I was able to have that," he said.

And it helps him afford thousands of dollars worth of medications each month.

"My mom's a nurse, my step-dad is a coal miner," Skeens said. "We couldn't pay for anything like that."

Organizer Brian Johns said people like Matt are most vulnerable if Obamacare is dismantled. 

"It's far from perfect but it's gone a long way toward insuring a lot more people," Johns said.

Inside his office, Congressman Griffith said he needs to consider what everyone in his district wants.

"What I hear from most is they want to get rid of the ACA," Griffith said. "It's raised their rates, it's raised their co-pays."

He believes Republicans can create a better health care plan.

"Hopefully we can stop the massive increases a middle class families under Obamacare, and yet still provide a safety net for those with significant health risks," the congressman said.

But protestors like Matt Skeens said they don't want to see a good thing change.

"I fight hard, he can ask cancer that," Skeens said. "So I'm going to fight him, if he wants to repeal something that saved my life and so many others."

Right now, several Republicans in the Senate are backing a bill that would give states an option to keep parts of Obamacare in place, if they want.


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