Group Protests Potential Repeal of Obamacare

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SCRANTON -- National politics had a stage in downtown Scranton Tuesday.  A group protested outside of Senator Pat Toomey's Scranton field office hoping to stall Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act known as "Obamacare."

Many of the group of 30 or so people standing out on Spruce Street in Scranton Tuesday afternoon have benefitted in some way from the Affordable Care Act.

Erin Berlew from West Pittston shared her story of when some of her family lost healthcare last year.

"If it were to be repealed, I have no idea what would happen. I have pre-existing conditions, and an insurance company isn't going to pick me up. And I had cancer this year on top of that, so without the Affordable Care Act, we truly would have nothing right now," she said.

This group was one of about 75 scattered around the country, gathering outside congressional and senate field offices. Senator Pat Toomey's Scranton field office is three floors above the protest inside the Scranton Life building.

The protesters fear Senator Toomey and other Republicans in Washington will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act once President Trump is in office.

"Now they want to kill it, even though it's managed to get 20 more million people health insurance and has taken the uninsured to the lowest rates ever," said Duke Barrett of Dallas, who participated in the protest.

The protest was organized nationally by the Move On organization.  Local volunteers planned each rally.

"I volunteered. I thought it was something important to do once the Republicans got control of both houses of Congress. It seemed the first thing they were going to do is attack healthcare. And we need to get people out and let them know we value things like Medicare and the Affordable Care Act," said organizer Ron Bartizek of Dallas.

If Obamacare is repealed, those covered would keep their insurance through 2017. The protesters think though, it's never too soon to make their voices heard.

"It's just important, for democracy. I think people have been too complacent for too long. I think we need to get out and let the elected officials know where we stand," Bartizek added.

Newswatch 16 contacted Senator Toomey's press secretary, but our calls have not yet been returned, but Senator Toomey has publicly supported the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.


  • David H

    Can’t wait to see the competition once Obamacare is gone. Wonder if any of the bright lights commenting on this story bothered to check how much premiums were going up BEFORE Obamacare.

    But the good news is we will all get to find out how good it can be once Obamacare is gone. And if you get screwed by the benevolent health insurance companies competing for your business, don’t forget to thank yourself. On the other hand, if everything turns out great, you be sure to remind all of those who are protesting.

    However, the key here is that if what happens is exactly what us losers predicted YOU CAN’T BLAME US. You built it. You will own it. And you only get to take credit if everything comes up roses.

  • Mcalluster Lee

    Group Protests Potential Repeal of Obamacare…………………………………………………………

    Guaranteed every one of those protesters voted for the loser Hillary Clinton…..
    These people have no clue…….premiums have jumped 50% or more this year….obamacare needs to go Period…………………….

  • magicmikexxsm

    Group Protests Potential Repeal of Obamacare…………………………………………………………

    Guaranteed every one of those protesters voted for the loser Hillary Clinton…..
    Obamacare has only raised the price of healthcare for millions……my plan went to $869.00 a month just for me… because of Obamacare I get a tax break to help pay for it , but I shouldn’t need a tax break to pay for it, it should be reasonable.
    I could rewrite the ACA act on a 1 page 8×11 piece of paper, and keep things like preexisting cond.
    and all the other stuff, just open it up to competition, and do away with the mandatory part…..

  • Dan Wesson

    can’t you goofy people understand when companies compete people win. There is only one or two companies that might carry Obama Care. That is why my pay check is getting pounded every 2 weeks. $725. a month pounded. Wake up and get the facts before you come un hinged. Merry Christmas.

  • Marvin

    Things like preexisting conditions will most likely remain in the new healthcare agenda, so a lot of fears are unfounded. Competition will drive costs down in the replacement plan. And on another note, I cannot afford to help pay for someone else’s healthcare by driving up my costs. Yet that is exactly what happened with the Unaffordable Careless Act.

  • DJB

    This is more about protecting Barack Obama’s legacy than anything at all related to healthcare. It may be so for the schmoes in the street toting the signs, but for the leaders of and the Soros evil empire, they are more concerened about how history will view Mr. Obama and they are trying to protect the one thing he actually got accomplished legislatively in 8 years. WORST. pRESIDENT. EVER. Lazy, weak, divisive, and ineffective. But he sure does give a great campaign speech. Beyond amazing to me that this guy still has a 60% approval rating when his entire agenda and candidates down ballot from him were overwhelmingly rejected across the country.

  • McCracken

    Be grateful for what you have. We don’t get to pick where we’re born. You could just as easily have been born in parts of Syria, China, Africa, etc. Take a step back and appreciate what you have.

  • Kevin

    hey Duke, how about tell the truth. Why did my health insurance go up $800.00 a month to $1,951.25 A MONTH ? I’m a self employed contractor with 3 kids and a wife. Don’t tell me how WONDERFUL Obamacare is.

    • Givemeabreak

      I don’t understand how you could possibly be paying that much? My senario sounds like yours but my cost is not anything close. Something isn’t right with your statement. Since you are self employed the Affordable Care act is based on MAGI or modified adjusted gross income. That is your take home after expenses and deductions. With a family of 5 and guessing at what your income should be for an area average contractor’s salary, your original figure doesn’t make any sense unless someone in your family has had a poor health history.
      Either you should get another accountant to do your taxes or you have someone who has been sick. Something isn’t adding up on your figures. Of course maybe I am wrong and you are grossing 6 figs.

      • DJB

        “Givemeabreak” should be the title of your post, not your chosen “handle”. Please explain to me how a new accountant would change his Obamacare premium? Oh, yeah, he must be making “6 figures”. Give me a break.

  • Onlooking Daily

    shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up shut up. i worked in healthcare and the “affordable” health care act is a SHAM! you gotta start realizing corporations don’t care about you because the owners of them are at the top and pay for their own insurance! you are a cog in the greed machine when you support this type of madness! you can’t even afford your deductibles and medicaid patients are not getting their needs met! look around and stop supporting people who banter change with nothing to show for it.

  • Lloyd Schmucatelli

    Screw your medicare and Medicaid!!! I don’t go to the doctors unless it’s life or death, yet I have to pay over inflated insurance prices to cover YOUR CRAP, because OBAMA says I have too?!?!

    If I don’t, I pay a penalty on my income taxes?!??

    Remind me again the correlation between health insurance and income taxes, because I’m down right confused. I don’t see what one has anything to do with the other. My insurance goes from $150 per month to $300 per month in a year and a half, my kids from $150 to $400 mine is CHEAP compared to some peoples!!

    I can’t believe THAT aspect of this isn’t being protested with torches and pitchforks! Wait, I know why’s know not not, because we have job!

  • tired old guy

    First of all I do not know where these people get their information but President Elect Trump and and his running mate along with Pul Ryan made it perfectly clear that provisions that protect those with pre-existing conditions will NOT be change. Obama care is a disaster and with rates going sky high and insurance companies getting out of it will only drive the rates up even higher so that no one will be able to afford it. Just wait, be patient and see what the replacement will be. As to these elderly morons who stood on street corners during the last election crying they want their Obama care to protect their medicare, well you got it and the first thing Obama did was take $750 billion out of medicare and direct it to medicaid for the poor. I could not even get an operation I needed because no surgeon wanted to do it for what medicare paid. Do some homework and enlighten yourselves before you go out freezing to death on a street corner screaming for something you may wish you never got.

    • DJB

      These people don’t do homework. Their homework is done from the by organizations like “”. Why research or critically think through an issue when George Soros and his open border people will do it for you and tell you what to say. Ever notice how their signs often times look very similar and professionally done? As for them standing on a corner freezing—they were paid as were all the little minions around the country, and yes—paid for by Mr. Soros.

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