With GOP healthcare bill in limbo, some Texans urge Senators to vote “no”

Protestors staged a "die-in" outside Senator John Cornyn's office in Austin, to show their opposition of the American Health Care Act. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)
Protestors staged a "die-in" outside Senator John Cornyn's office in Austin, to show their opposition of the American Health Care Act. (Nexstar Photo/Wes Rapaport)

AUSTIN (Nexstar) — A day after the Senate postponed a vote on its version of the American Health Care Act, demonstrators rallied at the Texas State Capitol to protest the new bill.

Protestors urged Texas Republican Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz to vote “no” on the legislation that would cut funding to Medicaid.

“This bill is an attack on healthcare for Texas kids,” Adriana Kohler, Senior Health Policy Associate for Texans Care for Children, said.

Following several speeches by advocates for youth and disabled Texans, the demonstrators marched to Cornyn’s office in Austin, chanting along the way. The protestors staged a “die-in” outside his office, by lying on the sidewalk and holding up cardboard tombstones.

“We believe Texans will die if the Republican bill, as it’s written, passes,” explained Bob Kafka, of ADAPT Texas, an organization that works to fight for the rights of those with disabilities.

The delay in the vote until after the Fourth of July holiday has opened the door for rallies and other events aimed at calling on lawmakers to reconsider their votes.

In Washington, protesters were arrested at one demonstration.

“It’s increasingly clear that Obamacare’s negative trends will only get worse unless we act,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on the Senate floor Wednesday.

President Donald Trump also weighed in.

“We’ll see what happens,” he said. “We’re working very hard. We’ve given ourselves a little bit more time to make it perfect.”

“This bill does nothing, nothing, to reduce healthcare costs,” stated Dennis Borel, who serves as Executive Director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities. “Ask a person with a mobility impairment who’s controlling their diabetes through healthcare, if that cost will be reduced. The answer is no.”

Kafka said he understood there was confusion on Capitol Hill about the contents of the bill, but argued writing letters and making phone calls to representatives was not enough.

“I think one press conference, one die-in, won’t do it,” Kafka explained. “It’s a building, but there are protests going on all over country, and we have to show that people-power.”

Some lawmakers said Wednesday they hoped to have a version that could be agreed upon by Friday, ahead of the holiday weekend.

Cornyn co-wrote the bill, but Cruz has said he did not support it as-written.

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