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Rallying to Save Obamacare

SUNBURY -- Rallies were held all across the country on Sunday to try to save Obamacare.

Dozens of people showed up at a congressman's office in Northumberland County, protesting the proposed repeal of Obamacare and cuts to Planned Parenthood.

People stood outside for hours in Sunbury to make sure their voices are heard. They are demanding Congress makes sure Americans continue to have access to affordable healthcare.

"Healthcare should be a right. It's not a privilege to be alive!"

That was the rallying cry outside of Congressman Lou Barletta's office in Sunbury. People with signs of support for the Affordable Care Act and Planned Parenthood gathered to let their voices be heard.

Congressman Barletta has already voted to start the repeal of Obamacare.

"We want to send a message to him that there are people who are impacted by this decision. We support improving the Affordable Care Act. The chant here today was 'fix it, don't nix it'," said Nicole Faraguna, Susquehanna Valley Progressives.

In the Keystone State, there are thousands who depend on the Affordable Care Act. One of those is Amalia Shaltil of Fishers Ferry. She didn't have healthcare for 10 years while raising her two children. She tells Newswatch 16 it was a very anxious time in her life. Even though it is expensive, without Obamacare, Shaltil says it would be devastating to her family.

"Still very worthwhile and without it, I would not be able to afford health coverage," she said. "It is just way out of my means right now."

Those at the rally tell Newswatch 16 eliminating healthcare for millions of Americans without another option is not the answer.

"I just don't understand how Congress members can threaten people with taking away the Affordable Care Act when people are frightened of losing their healthcare," said Helen Nunn of Lewisburg.

Organizers plan to continue holding rallies until they get an answer from the congressman.

"We are going to make a presence in Sunbury at the local office because rural Pennsylvania needs healthcare," said Dwayne Heisler, Pennsylvania Democratic State Committee.

Some at the rally plan to travel to the presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. to continue their protest.

Protesters were also out in Lackawanna County. Dozens voiced their concerns about repealing the Affordable Care Act on Courthouse Square in Scranton.

"We feel that many people kind of jumped on a bandwagon, 'Repeal Obamacare,' without looking carefully at what that meant for them and for their families," said Debbie Tomasetti of Peckville.

Newswatch 16 called Rep. Barletta's office for comment. He responded:

“All we have done so far is take the first procedural step, which clears the way to begin work on repealing and replacing Obamacare.  It’s understandable that people are concerned about what comes next, and rest assured that I only support repealing the health care law if there is a functioning program to put in its place so that no one falls through the cracks.

“But let’s remember what we’re talking about replacing.  Obamacare never lived up to its promises: people were thrown off their preferred plans; they lost access to their favorite doctors; and their premiums and deductibles skyrocketed.  State exchanges are failing and insurers are withdrawing from the marketplace, meaning that the current system is doomed to collapse on itself.  The law was passed without any Republican support or input, and was forced on the American people without any consideration of how exactly it would work.  It never functioned as advertised, and it is a mistake to look back on the fiasco with any sort of nostalgia.  Obamacare is a failure.  It has to be replaced.”

56 comments

  • Idea of zero

    Does anyone notice the paradox that we find ourselves in? The root cause is the lobbyist’s that Trump will get rid of. I wouldn’t have even voted if it wasn’t for this news agency and others like it forcing me to get an opinion and get informed. I registered as a Democrat when I was 18 because I was told it was the “right thing to do”. Now that I’m older and have seen all of the lies and violence that the party is capable of while accusing others of the things they are actually doing? Take the time to gain your opinions with actual facts while gauging your life and goals accordingly. Those skills should serve us all well. I was “with it” at one point, as I imagine some of you were also. Now? The option of “middle ground” has disappeared and businesses are closing while houses are falling apart. How much proof do we need? Can’t see the forest for all of the tree’s in the way?

  • Joe

    The people that benefited from Obamacare: A handful of politicians (Pelosi: “We Have to Pass the Bill So That You Can Find Out What Is In It”.), a bunch of insurance company CEO’s, all of the big pharmaceutical companies, healthcare institutions (not providers, think Geisinger), and a mere FRACTION of the population that were denied coverage or couldn’t afford coverage.

    The people that got screwed by Obamacare: EVERYONE ELSE!

    A few ideas I’ve seen around the web that may be effective:

    1.) Tort reform, stop frivolous lawsuits.

    2.) Break up healthcare institutions/health insurance giants that have become monopolies (Geisinger has already gobbled up most of the competition and is already too big to fail… a learning hospital that only seems to have learned how to make a lot of money!).

    3.) Drive pharmaceutical prices down by bringing SAFE foreign pharmaceuticals products into the market.

    4.) Stay the heck out of my wallet! I don’t want to pay for everyone else! My policy went up 564%, what more do you want??? Blood?

    • Cranky Joe

      Really Joe, REALLY? Exaggerate much? Your policy went up 564%? Most people pay around 400 a month for health insurance. So yours went from 400 a month to 2655 a month? Or were you paying some bargain amount of 100 per month and it’s up to 662 a month? Neither sound likely. Or are you paying closer to nothing and just some cranky old man who wants to buy scratch-offs instead.
      Oh…and if you don’t want to pay for everyone else, who do you think pays when people show up in the Emergency Room with no insurance? Huh? Yep…cranky Joe does…

  • Tired Old Guy

    If you want to see just how great government run health insurance and medical care just read the BBC or Guardian News on the British National Health system to see just how wonderful it can all be. Doctors on strike, people waiting for months for an operation they desperately need, the institution is broke and hospitals filled to capacity with people lying on stretchers in the hallways as there is no room for them, government bureaucrats fighting over where the money is going to come from to keep them open while investigations after investigations trying to determine why so many people are dying in hospitals, in other words before you go standing out in the cold screaming for something that is destroying jobs with deductibles and co-pays and premiums going through the roof and companies dropping out refusing to participated, at least have the common sense to wait and see what the new administration is replacing it with. Obama took 750 billion dollars out of medicare and put it in medicaid for the poor and I could not even get an operation I need done as no one wants to do it for what medicare pays and after researching it I don`t blame them. A little bit of reliable self education and information instead of motivating liberal one liners whose purpose in life is not you but their agenda and you might even re-consider walking around in the cold with a stupid sign that people laugh at as they go by might give you the motivation to make more intelligent choices in the voting booth. Then again, maybe not.

    • Idea of zero

      The “Silent Majority” is with you. We do not need to cheat, but rarely speak out against these fools that bury themselves and then try to bury the rest of us. Misery loves company. They woke up a sleeping bear this time around. Dollars are a creation, people are REAL. I wish you well in your health.

  • understand it

    Its called Repeal and Replace. Not Repeal only. Is this news the only one anyone ever looks at ? Trump is not going to take it away permanently, not gonna take it away for 6 months , a yr, 2 yrs. either. Without having something even better to replace it with pretty much immediately.

    • Tired Old Guy

      It is in Great Britain and what a nightmare. You should read about the horror stories. BBC is a good place to start and this is where it all ends when the government gets involved and you finally wind up with single payer and no choices in both ins. and delivery.

  • Dan

    All I know is I work 61 hours every week to pay my benefits that have gone up 52.3% since they put Obama Care in place. The faster it’s gone the better people like me will be. It helps me not one bit.

  • Zilla

    The government shouldn’t be in business selling or shall I say forcing obamacare on to folks whom don’t want it! My premium was perfect 10 years ago and now it’s poop! I see the only way anything the government sells or forces upon us is good for those who don’t want to work or drug addicts

    • Idea of zero

      This has to be some of the cleanest trolling I’ve ever seen. For that I give you props and other approvals. I created that screen name thinking about the Suzuki Quadzilla’s if you want to keep on using it, just so you know. Keep it clean. Ride it often. Glad I could help someone that seems like a good writer (but can’t match my quirks) get to the other side. Take it for what it is, and Bob’s your Uncle. I would also recommend reading Charles Dickens “Dombey and Son” or Jane Austen “Pride and Prejudice” before garnering that moniker if it means so much to you. Cheers

  • Lincoln

    You mean they jumped on the wagon to repeal obamacare the same way all the demorats jumped in and made obamacare a law! How fitting!

  • Kevin Fogarty

    Government has mismanaged every program there is. Tell me one that is run better than the private sector handling it? SSI, Medicare, VA, ???? Anyone ? They had to lie to us to get it passed, and people are still calling it a success and wanting to keep it. Wake up!!!

    • Zilla

      Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was a true American. Martin Luther King was his father. Which was probably named after the guy that championed the Protestant reform in the Catholic Church, which also ironically gave birth to the Agnostic Atheists of today that traditional politics do not apply to and you may ask yourself, “Why am I not up 50 points?” while calling everybody that doesn’t agree with you an “ist” or a “phobe” of one sort or another. We know their is a higher power, and we can’t define it in any other word but “Community”. May I suggest you try some pizza or hotdogs to fix your boo boo belly? Do you get the joke? Do you get that you are a minority that is NOT defined in an aristocratical way like Streep and company thinks?

      • Idea of zero

        @The Occult Hand. I really appreciate that you appreciate my writing, but what the FF does Rodney King have to do with anything? Did you ever hear of Kelly Thomas? Homeless guy beaten to death in that same situation but not glorified to divide us. Maybe go listen to some Sublime, think you know your garbage reporting and continue to laugh at us little folk that want a better society for the rest of us whilst living your college glory day(s)? Mucho gusto, now caress me down

  • Zilla

    The “Teachers Pet Mentality” carries through into adulthood. Who else got advanced classes and despised those that were always ready to kiss some tail instead of doing some work? Liberalism is not just a disease. It will be the stepping stone to Socialism, which is the stepping stone to Communism, which is the stepping stone to complete destruction of society and freedom. You might as well yell, “Applesauce” as loud as you can in their faces until they go away. Truth doesn’t matter to them much. Freedom is just a game that was granted. And retaining your specific culture or legal prosperous lifestyle? That should be destroyed… I guess? Anything they say they are doing is the EXACT opposite. Everytime. Without fail. Yet, they still do not want to be fair in even simple conversation when you give them a fair chance. Applesauce, applesauce, applesauce. You are running out of fair chances people. You need to wake up before your “vote” or actions put us all into homelessness and vast squalor, including yourselves. Peace

  • Zilla

    For people supporting any “government controlled” program, just use simple analogies. Say you have a car that works fine and you don’t want to get rid of it. Then the government issues a bill that you have to drive a certain car. You say no, and that car that barely cost you anything is now garnering fines and not really serving it’s cost vs. purpose but the car they want you to drive costs more than you can really afford without you changing your lifestyle drastically for the worse. Just to be able to get around? Healthcare is so much more complex, which is why this bill was over 30,000 pages and given a very short amount of time to pass. We were all doing better before it. I should have used coffee as an analogy. Imagine you could only drink it a certain way, and buy it from a certain place, and it cost way too much because you were told you had to. And if you don’t drink coffee? Well, hopefully you get the gist. Good luck

  • Bob

    Its called a website that loads slow and a phone keyboard not bad grammer and this is o a stupid comment the only people who care about grammar on a comment is someone with no life i probably have more skills than you will ever have givemeabrake i how to do everything from welding to computer programming what do you know

    • Givemeabreak

      Wow! You can weld and barely work a keyboard. I used to weld when I was an industrial mechanic at 18 and when I was 14 I was repairing computer hardware. Your a real kind of special. Another unique snowflake.

      • Zilla

        If you don’t use a comma in between “14” and “I”, it looks like you were saying that you are 141 years old. Are you the guy that was commenting as Duncan Macleod the other day? We are infested with immortals everybody. RUN !!!!!!

    • Zilla

      Didn’t know you had to be a novelist to comment? Well, u obiseeully dont got da meemo’s frum da jernilists dat be TROLLING u dawg. Don’t worry. It is a badge of honor when they obviously mess with you or hold your comments for moderation as they wallow in the sadness that real life isn’t Candyland. Troll em back and make them do some work. Cheers

  • Bob

    Obomacare is a disaster these people are idiots premiums are. To high deductubles are to it does not. Help the middle class and people who cant afford dont even get tax money at the end of. Year because. Of penaltys these people protesting are brainwashed

  • ANGELA

    There were about 100 people there i would say. Awesome job to all those who braved the cold and expressed your right of free speech, fighting for the healthcare of millions of people. Taking away coverage from children, veterans, people with pre-existing conditions, seniors, pregnant women, small
    Business owners, the disabled, etc etc. is immoral and irresponsible. The entire country will be affected by the repeal. Most people don’t understand it or who benefits from it. I hope they do before it’s too late.

    • Lloyd Schmucatelli

      Small business owners and pregnant women? I own a few small businesses and my wife had her third child this year and Obama care has us on borderline being broke. So you really don’t know what you’re talking about.

      • ANGELA

        I do because I know people who have it as well. I don’t want to fight, I have a feeling like these conversations are going to be pointless.

      • Givemeabreak

        I own my own businesses with a family of 4 and my premiums are reasonable. Not only are they reasonable but my wife was able to get surgery to remove pelvic adhesions that where causing her great pain for years. So maybe you don’t know what your talking about or your lying to suit your agenda or maybe your broke because you don’t manage your money well?

  • Benjamin T.

    Wow, a whole 13 people showed up ?! and Trump ran on repeal of Obamacare and defunding Planned Abortion Parenthood had 14,000 at a rally ? the people have spoken. Get over it

    • Givemeabreak

      Typical. I guess you will have no problem supporting these children once you have made these mother’s carry these cells to term. Of course you probably don’t care about them once they are born since that will cost a lot of money to take care of them. Funny how you people only care about a child till it’s here.

    • ANGELA

      The ACA actually makes it more accessible for people with addictions and mental illness to get treatment. It’s one of the things people we’re protesting, what will be the loss of this benefit.

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