By Cindy Hadish
CEDAR RAPIDS – Hundreds of protesters stood through a cold and cloudy Sunday afternoon in downtown Cedar Rapids to voice opposition to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Speakers noted how having health care coverage under the act had improved their lives and even saved their life in some cases.
Republicans in Congress began the process last week of repealing the Affordable Care Act, without having a replacement ready for the more than 20 million Americans who were able to obtain health insurance under the legislation, commonly referred to as Obamacare.
Carrying signs and chanting “show me what democracy looks like; this is what democracy looks like,” demonstrators gathered first at the office of U.S. Rep. Rod Blum, and then on the steps of the federal building, where U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley has an office. Both are Republicans who support repealing the law.
State Sen. Liz Mathis, D-Cedar Rapids, stood on a bench in front of Blum’s office to encourage Iowans to stay involved, even though Iowa’s house, senate and governor’s office are all controlled by Republican majorities.
“If we don’t have a vote, we need a voice,” she said.
State Rep. Liz Bennett, D-Cedar Rapids, echoed Mathis and attacked Gov. Terry Branstad’s record in “running roughshod” over people in need.
“Here in Iowa, we have a governor who thinks he’s king,” she said, adding that “health care is not really a partisan issue.”
Other gatherings are planned in the days surrounding the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, including an event Saturday, Jan. 21, beginning at 9 a.m. outside of the Planned Parenthood office, 3425 First Ave. SE, in Cedar Rapids.