Protest Rally for the Affordable Care Act Set for January 12 in Montgomery

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There will be a protest rally for the Affordable Care Act on the steps of the State Capitol in Montgomery from 12 to 2 p.m. Saturday in response to Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s failure to set up a plan for an insurance exchange or to expand Medicaid to comply with the law President Barack Obama signed on March 23, 2010.

Although the costs of implementing the Affordable Care Act will vary by state, the federal government will pay between 90 percent and 100 percent of the costs for those made newly eligible for Medicaid, and money to establish an exchange was covered through grant funding. Yet on Tuesday, November 14, 2012, Gov. Bentley held a press conference and made it clear that he will kowtow to the wishes of the radical, right-wing tea party and refuse to comply with the law. He refuses to lift a finger to help the poor people of Alabama — who are desperate for health coverage — take advantage of the new federal law and federal funding.

“Governor Bentley’s recent actions could negatively impact health insurance for more than 300,000 Alabamians, which includes citizens who work for minimum wage or low wages and cannot afford (expensive, private, corporate) insurance,” according to the NAACP, which is sponsoring the rally.

“The Affordable Care Act actually works in favor of employees who are younger than 65 years of age, possibly indicating that a good percentage of health care coverage for these citizens would be preventative care,” the group says in a press release announcing the rally. “The bottom line is for lower income workers who pay taxes out of their wages, their health care needs appear to be of little importance to state political leaders who receive health care at the expense of state tax payers.”

Nationally, the NAACP supports the Affordable Care Act because it addresses many health care disparities such as prohibiting discrimination against Americans with pre-existing health conditions and making health care accessible to all people regardless of socioeconomic factors. Local NAACP branches are being encouraged to closely monitor state health care reform legislation and to continue to fight for the right of affordable health care for all Americans.

The NAACP is being joined in the protest by the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Greater Birmingham Ministries and the Madison County Democratic Conference, as well as the Alabama AFL-CIO and other unions.

© 2013, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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