A group of people in Lancaster is speaking out to ensure that the president’s health care law is not defunded.
The group, along with non-profit “Protect Your Care,” held a rally Wednesday outside of Rep. Joe Pitts’, R, PA District 16, downtown office.
Stacie Ritter, a mother from Manheim, was one of the speakers. She has become an outspoken advocate for the Affordable Care Act. Ritter has taken on the role with her twin daughters in mind.
Ten years ago, at the age of four, her girls were diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. Ritter went bankrupt after the girls reached their lifetime cap for coverage.
She said health insurance companies also denied her twins coverage, due to their pre-existing condition, which would not be allowed under the Affordable Care Act.
“I’m outraged that our politicians in Washington are trying to repeal something that I know is helping my family and the 13,500 families that suffer a childhood cancer diagnosis every year,” Ritter said.
Dr. Nicholas Mandalakas is a Lancaster-based cardiologist who says he has seen patients turn down critical medical care because they couldn’t afford it under the current healthcare system.
“While the system may not be perfect, I think a lot of people who do not have health insurance, this is going to help them,” he said. “The alternative, which would be to do nothing, I could see would lead to more and more people being uninsured and eventually, probably collapse of the system.”
Congressman Pitts represents most of Lancaster County. He said the law is too costly and allows for too much government intervention.
“Right now, the Affordable health care act is standing in the way of real reform,” Pitts said Monday at a press event. “And if we can get a defunding or a delay, we can work out some of the problems and correct some of the problems with reform.”
But Ritter said any delay in rolling out the law will hurt those who need it most.
“Childhood cancer is the number one killer of children,” she said. “It’s huge. And all of those children need this, they need those protections.”
Political experts say any effort to try to defund or roll back Obamacare is near-impossible, with the Democratic majority in the Senate and the president’s veto power. Still, Pitts and other Republicans are pushing for an alternative to the healthcare law.