Roberta Burns has a full-time job with health benefits that ensure she can get her medication for her rheumatoid arthritis.
But she’s worried that if the Affordable Care Act is repealed and she loses her job, she might have trouble getting health insurance in the future.
“I can’t live without my medication,” Burns said at a news conference held by the Save My Care Bus Tour on Friday.
The news conference, part of a two-month national tour advocating against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, featured several speakers talking about how the health care law has benefited Kentuckians.
Republicans in Congress have pledged to repeal the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and replace it with an improved health care law. President Donald Trump and Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul have called for Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act and replace it immediately, but some Republicans want Congress to repeal the law as soon as possible, with or without a replacement bill. Paul unveiled his replacement bill Wednesday.
Trump has told Americans that the new Republican law would be “much less expensive and much better,” but has provided no details. On his first day in office Trump issued an executive order to seek repeal of the Affordable Care Act — an order that is largely symbolic.
Former Kentucky auditor Adam Edelen, a Democrat who participated in the bus tour, said he doesn’t believe Republicans will replace the Affordable Care Act. He said he wouldn’t believe it until Republicans provided “a credible alternative to what we have.”
Edelen painted a dire picture of health care before the act, calling it “an old broken, dilapidated, immoral system that provided health care only to people who can afford it.”
Kentucky went from 20.4 percent of residents without health insurance in 2013 to 9.6 percent in 2015, according to Gallup, largely thanks to state Medicaid expansion tied to the Affordable Care Act. Critics of the act, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said the insurance costs were too high for rural Kentuckians.