PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — About 50 protesters stood outside Senator Pat Toomey’s office on Grant Street in Pittsburgh, chanting unhappiness at his expected vote for the Republican Senate Health Care bill.
“Hey, Toomey, we’re afraid; you’ll take grandma’s Medicaid,” they chanted.
The Senate bill is similar in many ways to the House bill that President Trump called mean.
Opponents say it’s even worse for seniors, allowing insurers to charge older Americans five times what the young pay while cutting taxes for the wealthy.
Speaker after speaker addressed comments to Toomey about how the Senate bill would hurt them like Libby Powers of Sewickley who spent the night outside Toomey’s office.
“Senator Toomey wants to cut Medicaid and Medicaid expansion,” said Powers. “You’re cutting my life short.”
One woman spoke for a friend whose son, born with neurofibromatosis, lost his insurance at age three, but was saved by Obamacare.
“Fortunately, we were able to get him insurance through the ACA because it offered protections, and it allowed for insurance for those with pre-existing conditions and it did away with lifetime limits,” said Cara Shuckett of Squirrel Hill.
United Methodist pastor the Rev. Dr. Ronald Wanless called the Republicans’ plan to cut health insurance immoral.
“There is nothing moral about that. That is immoral, and we need to talk about the immorality of the Senate proposal,” said Wanless.
In a statement, Toomey seemed to praise the Senate GOP plan, saying it would not “pull the rug out from anyone under Obamacare,” a claim quickly challenged by others.
But the senator added that he welcomed feedback from all Pennsylvanians before making a final decision on how to vote.
Senator Casey says he opposes the bill as a tax giveaway to the wealthy that hurts seniors and children.