May 12, 2017

5/11/2017 – Arizona residents from Prescott to Tucson convened on their Members of Congress’ offices Wednesday, May tenth to send them a message: We can do better than Trumpcare. The statewide “Die-In” protest was planned by nineteen separate groups and targeted six lawmakers around the state. These protests are part of a nationwide effort bringing media attention to House members who voted yes on the AHCA legislation last week.

Nearly sixty of Congressman Andy Biggs’s constituents gathered in protest on the sidewalk outside his office on Power Rd in Mesa. The “Die In” was in protest of the GOP bill passed in the House last week, euphemistically called the American Health Care Act.  Constituents, including many children, carried tombstones to symbolize the deaths that will occur if the ACHA is passed: DROWNED HIGH-RISK POOL, PREEXISTING CONDITION – EPILEPSY, RIP – COVERAGE DENIED.  Armed with their tombstones and dressed in black constituents had a clear message for Rep. Biggs: put people before politics or your career will be just one of the fatalities attributed to an Affordable Care Act repeal. Die-In_002
Die-In_002 Biggs, a member of the House Freedom Caucus, voted against the proposed measure, but only because it was not cruel enough.  In statements from his social media and in numerous interviews the reason given by the congressman for his vote was that Trumpcare did not fully repeal every aspect of Obamacare, and he would settle for nothing less.  Biggs’ radical and draconian viewpoints are out of alignment with his constituents and the American public as a whole.
The AHCA allows states to waive the ACA’s guarantee against discrimination for preexisting conditions, condemning them instead to high-risk pools that have failed in the past. States could also waive the ACA’s requirement that health plans cover ten essential health benefits (hospitalization, emergency services, maternity and newborn care, pediatric services, labs, imaging, outpatient, rehab). In addition, the ACHA would slash Medicaid funding for thousands of Biggs’ constituents. Die-In_002
Die-In_002 Event participants know that the current system isn’t perfect.  “There are problems with the existing ACA legislation that hurts our neighbors. Many people are unable to obtain insurance that is affordable for their families.” A protester continues, “but we can’t just remove all of the consumer and business protections that the ACA has instituted.”  Gilbert Resident and participant Cynthia Lehigh said “Real people will die unnecessarily if the ACA is repealed, as they did before the ACA was passed.”

AZCD5 has been opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act since the inauguration of Donald Trump and will continue to support and engage in efforts to save and improve the healthcare system.  If you are interested in becoming part of our team of engaged citizens, please sign up to join us or contribute to help us continue the fight.


Written by AZCD5 Members

Lauren Ghazikhanian, Cynthia Lehigh and Valerie Lim
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