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NY lawmakers, healthcare providers rally against repeal of Obamacare

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jan 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-07 18:19:01-05

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT, Brooklyn —New York lawmakers are gearing up for a fight as Republicans prepare to dismantle Obamacare.

Lawmakers held a rally at Woodhull Medical Center in Brooklyn Saturday to oppose the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and what the potential fallout will be for the 1.6 million New Yorkers who rely on it for health insurance coverage.

Representative Nydia Velazquez was leading the charge at Woodhull Medical Center in Brooklyn.

Big signs read “Repealing the Affordable Care Act will Make America Sick Again.” The signs, of course, are taking a swipe at President-elect Donald Trump’s campaign slogan.

Flanked by those signs and a big group of supporters, Valazquez told the crowd “I’m ready, I’m fired up, we’re gonna fight! Congressional Republicans are playing politics with millions of Americans’ healthcare!”

She was joined by healthcare providers, advocacy groups and Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Yvette Clark and Hakeem Jeffries.

“We are not gonna step back, we will fight back,” said Jeffries.

Meantime, on Capitol Hill, Republicans are moving ahead with the contentious process of trying to repeal the President’s signature health law.

Getting rid of Obamacare was one of President-elect Trump’s campaign promises.

On Friday, Obama challenged Republicans to come up with an alternative plan.

"After the law passed for the last 6, 7 years, there has been the argument that we can provide a great replacement that will be much better for everybody than what the Affordable care act is providing and yet over the last 6, 7 years there's been no actual replacement law that any credible health experts have said would work better,” said the President.

Lawmakers at Saturday's rally say some of the states that have had the most to benefit from Obamacare had a majority vote for Trump.

They add if Obamacare is repealed, 30 million Americans will lose health insurance, 1.6 million New Yorkers alone. One of them is Queens resident Juana Alvarez, a single mother of 3.

“In my community many of us are scared to go to the emergency room for treatment without health insurance," said Alvarez through a translator. "We are scared that we will receive a high medical bill and not be able to pay for it. Without insurance, my community doesn’t got to an emergency room or hospital when we are sick.”

Meantime, a bipartisan analysis finds fully repealing Obamacare would cost the country $350 billion over 10 years.