Holding signs that said “Improve Existence Not Profits” and “Save ACA, Protect Our Healthcare,” a small group of protesters rallied Wednesday morning at Burnett Park to demonstrate against Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against the Affordable Care Act or at least pre-existing condition protections in the plan.
Fewer than 30 people attended the rally which was organized by Paxton’s Democratic challenger, Justin Nelson, to “fight against Ken Paxton.”
“This is a frivolous lawsuit,” Nelson told the group. “We are fighting for healthcare. We are fighting to try to keep pre-existing conditions.”
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Paxton’s lawsuit, joined by 19 other states, could impact health coverage for millions of Americans.
In Texas alone, there are more than 4.5 million “nonelderly adults” with pre-existing conditions that could make it hard for them to get health insurance if Obamacare went away, statistics show.
Cathy Clark of Fort Worth agreed with Nelson’s assessment, holding signs that read, “Why Oh Why Are You Killing Me,” and “RIP Coverage Denied.”
“I’m concerned with the direction of our country,” she said. “My country is better than this.”
Her husband, Cary Clark, dressed in black as the grim reaper, held a sign that said, “I AM THE GOP HEALTH Care PLAN.”
“Texans need this healthcare,” Clark said. “We need pre-existing conditions as part of our health plan.”
Peter Nelson of Fort Worth said he believes Americans need the Affordable Care Act.
“I believe in it,” he said. “It’s going to cost us if it goes away.”
Speakers at the rally told the small group of protesters that Paxton’s lawsuit would not benefit anyone in Texas.
One of the speakers was Alejandrina Guzman of Austin, the former student body president at the University of Texas in Austin. Guzman, a 2013 graduate of Azle High School, was born with diastrophic dysplasia, a disorder of cartilage and bone development which makes people who have it short in stature with very short arms and legs. She uses a wheelchair to get around.
“I came here fighting for pre-existing conditions,” she said. “So many people will be affected if it’s (Affordable Care Act) repealed.”
Protesters ended the rally with a march to the front of the federal courthouse as they chanted to save the act, known as Obamacare.
Protester Michael Lummus of Alvarado confronted an attorney in front of the federal courthouse.
“The system is crumbling and as it continues to crumble healthcare is getting worse and worse,” Robert Henneke, general counsel director for the Center of American Future, told a group of news reporters.
“Why are you lying, boy?” Lummus yelled out. Lummus was in a wheelchair. “Obamacare saved my life.”
The lawsuit was being heard in U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor’s courtroom.