Getting the jump on Heritage’s faux town hall, Columbus activists say no to repeal efforts
COLUMBUS – The message was clear from a group of Obamacare proponents today in downtown Columbus: GOP repeal efforts are a step backward and opponents are disrespecting Ohioans with disinformation and partisan attacks.
“As a business owner, I’m asking for constituent service and good information from state and federal officials,” said Carmen Owens, owner/operator with the Columbus Food League.
“Obamacare is the law of the land and it will make it easier for me to continue to offer health benefits to our employees,” Owens added.
The Columbus Food League is comprised of six Columbus restaurants including Betty’s Fine Food and Spirits and The Jury Room. Tuesday’s news conference at which Owens spoke was held at her establishment, the Grass Skirt Tiki Room.
Joanne Pickrell, Protect Your Care Ohio state lead, said Tuesday’s event is one of a series of events being held throughout Ohio to promote “real information and the truth about the Affordable Care Act.”
Brad Woodhouse, president of Americans United for Change, spoke at the news conference. His group, based in Washington, D.C. has been working with other pro-healthcare reform organizations around the country.
“Pro health reform advocates are going to meet the repealers and defunders on the battlefield and confront them directly and aggressively. A strong majority of the American people want the Affordable Care Act implemented and fixed if necessary – they do not want it repealed – which is the only plan for health care Republicans have,” Woodhouse said.
Joyce Patton of Progress Ohio pointed out that the right-wing think tank Heritage Foundation is holding an anti-Obamacare event later today in Columbus.
“The question for Heritage is why? Why do you want to take away from women preventative care coverage? Why do you want to take away from kids the elimination of pre-existing conditions or from seniors eliminating the prescription drug donut hole? Why is Heritage against their own ideas for an exchange? Why are they rooting against Americans by playing politics with their health care,” Patton asked.
Personal stories were shared at the news conference from members of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, SEIU District 1199 and The National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. In each case, from the perspective of a young woman, retiree and member of the LGBT community, the speakers echoed Owens’ forceful defense of health care reform.
“It makes no sense to go backwards on reforming our health care system,” Owens said.
“There is too much that’s good in this law to abandon it. I’m hopeful that the obnoxious partisanship ends soon and we can all get about the business of making Obamacare work,” Owens said.