Cleveland and Columbus Were Stops 10 and 11 on National Bus Tour
(Cleveland, OH & Columbus, OH) – Today, local officials, health care advocates, and Ohioans with pre-existing conditions spoke out against the devastating repercussions of health care repeal at events in Cleveland and Columbus.
The events were part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour calling attention to Republicans’ attempts to sabotage health care, including a lawsuit that would gut protections for Ohioans with pre-existing conditions. Cleveland and Columbus were stops ten and eleven of the 48-stop tour.
In Cleveland, Betsy Rader and Cleveland City Councilmembers Blaine Griffin and Phyllis Cleveland joined Dr. Maria Phillis, Kat Schultz, Maya Brown-Zimmerman, who shared their personal health care stories. In Columbus, City Attorney Zach Klein and American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten joined Ann Wightman and Laura Packard, who shared their personal stories.
Here’s what they had to say about health care and Republicans’ repeal-and-sabotage agenda:
Betsy Rader: “Republicans in Congress have waged a war on those in our community who live with pre-existing conditions, undermining their access to health care nearly every opportunity they had. It’s critical that we all stand up, take action, and fight for affordable healthcare.”
Columbus City Attorney Zach Klein: “Since President Trump took office, he has made very clear his intention to dismantle the Affordable Care Act – with not just his words, but his actions. His sabotage of health care for millions of Americans is both cruel and a true dereliction of his constitutional duty as President of the United States.”
Cleveland City Councilmember Blaine Griffin: “Republicans in Washington and the Ohio Statehouse aren’t sticking up for health care protections or working with Democrats to lower costs. Instead, they are ending protections for people with pre-existing conditions, driving up costs, and cutting coverage.”
Cleveland Councilmember Phyllis Cleveland: “Since day one of the Trump Administration, the agenda has been to eviscerate the Affordable Care Act. I am proud to stand here to say we here in Ohio and Cleveland have a strong contingent of individuals who care about people and their health care, so we will continue to fight.”
Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers: “Everyone is one pre-existing condition away from bankruptcy. This is about making sure there’s a basic level of health protection for every single of American. We have an obligation to stand up for everyone in this country.”
Local resident Maya Brown-Zimmerman: “I was born with a rare genetic disorder. One of my children inherited it, another is autistic, and another has a brain injury from in-utero. Protecting Americans with pre-existing conditions is not a Democratic or Republican issue. This is a human issue.”
Ohioan Kat Schultz: “I am one of the 4.8 million Ohioans who have a pre-existing condition. I’m deeply concerned that if protections for pre-existing conditions end, I’d be denied health insurance and unable to afford the treatments that keep my alive. Please protect my care, and protect my life.”
Dr. Maria Phillis, OB-GYN: “I went into medicine to help patients. As a physician, I’ve seen people who have benefited from good health care. To watch the ACA slowly become dismantled, piece by piece by politicians that are putting politics over patients, is heart-wrenching.”
Cancer survivor Laura Packard: “I am still here today thanks to the ACA. But I need to keep my health care, as do 130 million with pre-existing conditions. That’s why we’re here – to hold people like Senator Portman accountable for their votes to take away our care.”
Local resident Ann Wightman: “Thirteen years after I got sick and lost my health insurance, the ACA made it possible for my family to purchase real health insurance again. But now, Republicans are using every trick in the book to take it away. I am sick and I am tired. I am not going to take it anymore. I vow today to do everything that I can to fight this sabotage.”
You can watch the full Cleveland event here, and the full Columbus event here. The bus now travels to West Virginia before coming back to Cincinnati for an event on Tuesday. More details about upcoming stops can be found here.