Constituents of central Arkansas Congressman French Hill rallied at his Little Rock office on Monday to decry his vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. KUAR estimates about 50 people lined a sidewalk on North University Avenue holding signs saying “repeal and replace French Hill,” among other slogans. It was a grassroots effort that Katherine Pope helped organize.
“I have never been active before. I am a person who has voted across party lines. I thought voting was enough. Since what I have seen happening since November 8th, I have been moved to action,” she said referring to President Donald Trump’s Electoral College victory.
Pope said she could be personally affected by the House-approved bill. She lives with rheumatoid arthritis and has had a C-section. Insurance companies can’t discriminate or charge more for pre-existing conditions under the Affordable Care Act. That could change under Republican repeal and replace plans.
A student at UAMS, Camille Richoux, helped organize the event. She warns that Representative Hill (R-2nd District) shouldn’t dismiss protestors as just, Little Rock liberals.
“It’s not this existential, liberal bleeding heart issue. These are really issues that will impact me as someone that has a pre-existing and has healthcare. I’ve been insured because of the Affordable Care Act,” said Richoux.
“I am from Camden in rural, southern Arkansas,” she said. “I grew up without health insurance and know exactly what it’s like to be one health issue away from family devastation. My mom actually filed bankruptcy when I was younger.”
The legislation still needs approval from the U.S. Senate. Several Republican Senate leaders have said they’ll approve their own version of repeal and replace instead of considering the House proposal outright.
Rep. Hill, now in his second term, campaigned in part on repealing and replacing the federal health care law. He garnered almost 59 percent of the vote in the November election. KUAR has reached out to Rep. Hill for an interview on his vote.