BY CHRISTINA CARDONA
Holding up signs reading “Don’t Make America Sick Again,” “Nurses Standing Tall for Human Rights” and “ACA is Here to Stay,” Queens residents joined state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Jamaica) last weekend for a rally to support Obamacare.
Comrie was joined by Assembly members by many local elected officials at the rally supporting the Affordable Care Act on Feb. 25 at the New Greater Bethel Ministries in Queens Village.
Health advocates and concerned members of the community gathered to discuss the benefits of the Affordable Care Act and what it would mean to the Southeast Queens community if the Trump Administration and Congressional Republicans repeal it. A total of 1.6 million New Yorkers are in the Obamacare system.
“As you know, this is a national day of action to save the Affordable Care Act, there are programs that are happening all over the country,” Comrie said. “We’re asking people all over the country to show strong support for the act.”
Comrie introduced Senior Pastor John H. Boyd II to the podium and noted how the church helps the community with health concerns and education.
“As we know, they are trying to take Obamacare and turn it around, but how many believe that hard work and prayer work together?” Boyd said.
Pier Miller, who is Councilman Daneek Miller’s (D-St. Albans) wife and has worked in the healthcare industry for more than 25 years, said that Obamacare supporters are in for a fight.
“As a facilitator enroller years ago, I heard so many stories and these stories were of great concern for me because, at the time, you don’t know who is going to walk in the door,” she said. “This one particular person who walked in, she was an immigrant, just came into the country, had a translator who told me she just got here, she is very sick and scared to death to get enrolled in a plan because she was afraid that she would be deported again. We are under attack, seniors are going to get hit hard and people in general are going to get hit hard.”
Lancman spoke about the benefits of Obamacare and praised the Queens Hospital center, which is in his district. He said that the hospital cares for everyone who walks in the door, regardless of their ability to pay and or their immigration statuses.
“Twenty million Americans have health insurance because of Obamacare that would not have had health insurance if it weren’t for the Affordable Care Act,” Lancman said. “Out of all the fights we are fighting with Trump, this one has the most immediate affect on people’s lives. Some of you might have been in a situation in your life where you did not have health insurance. We know people today still don’t have health insurance. It is the worst place for a person to be.”
At the end of the rally, a pamphlet was handed out that detailed six ways that citizens can help save Obamacare. The pamphlet instructed readers to call senators and representatives, send a letter or petition, visit http://acaworks.org and share their personal story, spread the word and educate others, attend rallies or town halls and use social media to promote Obamacare.
“We have to do whatever we can to make sure we push back and make sure that the Affordable Care Act stays as intact as possible,” Comrie said. “All over the country, there are opportunities for people to participate, to make their voices heard.”