The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Protest targets health-care action

A ‘Die-In’ protest took place Sunday evening after the passing of the Affordable Care Act repeal in the House.
The Daily Iowan; Photos by Lily
Protestors “die” during a protest against the American Health Care Act on the Pentacrest on Sunday, May 7, 2017. The protest featured several speakers and a “die-in.” (The Daily Iowan/Lily Smith)

Protesters lay on their backs on the Pentacrest grass with cardboard tombstones held over their heads containing such phrases as “Denied and Died,” “RIP, Mental-Health Care Not Covered,” and “RIP, I Chose Rent Over Meds” engraved on them.Iowa City community members gathered on Sunday to protest the potential repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which passed in the House and now moves on to the Senate.

Holly Sanger of Indivisible Iowa, the organizing group of the event, said the protest arose after the bill passed the House because many people were concerned they would lose coverage or be priced out of coverage due to preexisting conditions.

“The Iowa Hospital Association, which represents 118 Iowa Hospitals, predicts between [200,000] to 250,000 Iowans will lose their insurance because of this,” Sanger said. “That’s an impact on individuals, but it’s also an impact on hospitals, because a lot of small rural community hospitals will close if they don’t have people who have insurance, and that matters.”

Sanger said in Iowa City’s congressional district, 43,800 individuals are predicted to lose their insurance.

Iowa City resident Karen Nichols said the Affordable Care Act was important to her family and her personal health.

“Shortly after the Affordable Care Act was passed, I had a physical and got a mammogram that because of the Affordable Care Act was free,” Nichols said. “That caught early stage aggressive breast cancer for me. I was appreciative of the Affordable Care Act because of that.”

Around the same time as she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her husband was diagnosed with an anomalous coronary artery, a birth defect, and needed to have open-heart surgery to repair it.

“Within the same year, we both had pretty catastrophic health-care issues,” she said. “Because of those two things, neither of which we could have done anything to prevent, we are both concerned about the pre-existing condition issue.”

Nichols said as an average working-class family with already high health-care bills, they could not afford an increase.

UI alumna Miranda Gehris said the issue of health care is going to affect everyone, and while she is grateful they don’t plan to repeal allowing individuals to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26, she is concerned about pre-existing conditions and premiums increasing.

“If people aren’t saying, ‘We don’t want this,’ it’s going to go through,” Gehris said. “Trump’s administration has done this with other things where they distract with one thing, and then they slide through another bill. Keeping people informed, even if it’s just knowing that changes are being made … I think it’s extremely important.”

The Senate plans to wait for the Congressional Budget Office to score the health-care legislation before voting to pass or reject it.

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About the Contributor
Naomi Hofferber, Arts Reporter
Nathaniel Hofferber is a fourth-year University of Iowa student, and reported on arts and works as an audio producer at The Daily Iowan. Hofferber has been with the DI since the start of his freshman year, serving as a news reporter covering city council and social-justice issues, before becoming News Editor his sophomore year and Arts Editor junior year.