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As CBO Releases Report, Oregonians Rally In Support Of Affordable Care Act

Kristuan Foden-Vencil/OPB
Members of Oregon AFSCME rally in support of the Affordable Care Act on the Oregon Capitol steps.

Oregonians who don’t want to see the Affordable Care Act repealed are rallying around the state, with some of them voicing their concern in Salem Monday.

At the steps of the Capitol, about 100 members of Oregon AFSCME — the state, county and municipal employees union — heard from speakers how Oregon’s uninsured rate dropped from 17 percent to 5 percent under the Affordable Care Act. 

Hanna Love with the A Better Oregon campaign, which wants to raise taxes on large corporations in the state, told the group that hundreds of thousands of Oregonians will lose insurance under a Republican replacement bill. 

“Do we have to accept cuts to the Oregon Health Plan?” she called out. The crowd gathered around her answered: “No!”

“Are we OK with close to a half a million Oregonians losing access to affordable care?” Again the crowd answered: “No!”

The Congressional Budget Office released its numbers related to the Republican bill, estimating 24 million fewer Americans would have health insurance under the GOP plan after a decade.

Oregon’s Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden said,  “Trumpcare pulls the plug on Medicaid.”

When announcing the bill, Oregon’s only Republican congressman, Greg Walden, countered that point. 

“It doesn’t pull the rug out from anyone currently on Medicaid,” Walden said.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said the bill needlessly harms millions of Americans by increasing the prices for insurance 15 to 20 percent next year and eliminating important health care jobs.

“It will especially harm rural Oregon, which is just starting to recover from a prolonged economic downturn,” Brown said.

People will gather at the Portland office of Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Tuesday, March 14, to rally in opposition to the Republican health care plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

Copyright 2017 Oregon Public Broadcasting