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Kaine leads rally against push to ‘repeal and replace’ Obamacare

Posted at 6:57 PM, Jan 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 09:42:28-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Hundreds of people came to Capitol Square Sunday for a rally to “Save Our Health Care."

Several legislators spoke, including Sen. Tim Kaine, Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Congressman Donald McEachin.

Supports of the Affordable Care Act held signs against Republicans' push to "repeal and replace" the law.

Ashley Hawkins, a mother of two, also spoke at the rally.

"Without insurance through the ACA, I fear that I would not be able to go to work every day and to cover costs of childcare for my children,” she said.

Hawkins said she had a pre-existing condition and says she needs the ACA  to survive.

"The Affordable Care Act is working,” said Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam.

“Save Our Health Care" rally at Capitol Square.

“Save Our Health Care" rally at Capitol Square.

"As a pre-existing conditions, must have access to quality affordable insurance. They need someone who will fight for them,” said Susan Platt, who is running for lieutenant governor.

"We will fight with every fiber of our being to preserve that healthcare because we know there are more insured Americans today that have ever been in the history of our country,” McEachin said.

"We're going to go to that other white building in Washington. We're going to fight up there and we're going to continue to fight here,” McAuliffe said.

The controversial law had delivered health care coverage to about 20 million people. It required insurers to cover certain services like family planning and people who are already ill and has controlled rates that the sick and elderly can be charged. It's also been loaded with problems such as rapidly rising premiums and large co-payments.

"It is not working. The exchanges are failing miserably. The states have no networks. The prices have gone up,” Republican Delegate John O'Bannon said.

Last week, the House of Representatives and Senate approved measures to allow Republicans to use a process known as “budget reconciliation” to roll back major parts of the health care law.

"Insurance can work a lot better than centralizing it or running it all through your government. We need to go back and fix those bad things and get insurance working for our citizens,” O'Bannon said.

Democrats argue repealing the law would be devastating, leaving 30 million people without health insurance and hurting the economy.

"You think you can just create uncertainty in the biggest part of the American economy, and it's not going to spill over into something else? No,” Kaine said.

Top Republican leaders, including President-elect Trump, have said they hope to rewrite the ACA as soon as possible, but so far they’ve provided little detail.

"They're saying, 'Don't worry we'll come up with a replacement. We're going to repeal. We'll come up...'Why don't we just jump off a cliff and then we'll figure out how to land when we're mid-air?' That's what's they're saying,” Kaine said.