The Harbor-UCLA Medical Center saw 200 protesters led by Democratic Senator Kamala Harris protesting against Senate Republican health care bill. Among the demonstrators were a number of doctors and nurses employed at the hospital near Torrance. The county-run establishment is one of the five Level 1 trauma centers located in Los Angeles County. The protesters said that patients' lives can be at stake if the GOP repeals Obamacare or Affordable Care Act (ACA). A few protesters came from as far as Orange County. As per Congressional Budget Office, the Republican Senate Bill will result in about 22 million Americans losing their coverage within the next decade.
Democrat leader arrives
Prior to Senator Harris' arrival, organizers from a number of healthcare advocacy groups repeatedly chanted “Healthcare and not wealth care”. Another slogan was “Kill the bill”. Many among the crowd were social workers, healthcare professionals, nurses, and paramedics. The senator came directly from a San Pedro-docked USS Iowa battleship where she attended the naturalization ceremony being held there.
Senator Harris castigated the GOP for writing their bill within private confines. She accused the Republicans of playing a political game with public health. In her opinion, this move will help only the richest Americans.
Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, postponed the vote due on Republican bill. The latter is intended to repeal a large portion of the ACA. It will also make massive slashes to the Medicaid budget. The bill will end tax penalties on individuals who have not purchased health insurance. It will also not punish companies that refuse to offer healthcare coverage to workers. The bill would provide smaller subsidies to individuals compared to the ACA but would offer large sums of money to insurance companies and states to push up markets left by insurers.
President Donald J. Trump has put the pressure on senators to support the bill which will repeal and also replace the ACA. However, he is open to holding a repeal exclusive option in case the GOP cannot reach an agreement during the July 4 recess. Tom Price, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, said that negotiations concerning Senate bill have focused on methods to solve the Medicaid coverage issue. The aim is that no person will be left behind. These are related to combat the drug addiction crisis and also providing families a greater number of choices when it comes to choosing insurance plans.