RI groups rally against Senate GOP’s health care bill

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Several groups came together Wednesday to protest Republicans’ plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

The rally at the State House was held in response to a report from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, which found an additional 22 million Americans would lose insurance over the next decade if the Senate version of the bill passes.

The bill had been lined up for a vote in the Senate this week but GOP leaders decided to delay the vote until after the Fourth of July holiday because it didn’t appear to have enough votes to pass.

President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress say Obamacare premiums are increasing in some states and insurers are pulling out of the program.

RNC spokesperson Ellie Hockenbury released a statement to Eyewitness News saying the GOP bill aims to fix the damage Obamacare has caused.

“Because of Obamacare, premiums have skyrocketed across the country. We are in a healthcare crisis and the Republicans’ proposed healthcare reforms are aimed at remedying the damage done by the train wreck that Obamacare caused. The people of Rhode Island, and Americans across this country, deserve a system that provides quality healthcare they can afford.”

Gov. Gina Raimondo on Wednesday said she believes the current bill would be “devastating” to Rhode Islanders, in part because it would reduce future Medicaid funding.

An estimate by the Center for American Progress, a liberal group that supports the Obama health law, suggested the Senate bill would result in about 46,000 fewer Rhode Islanders having health insurance in 2026, with 35,300 fewer on Medicaid and 10,600 fewer buying private insurance.