I was asked to speak at a local rally against the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. It was slightly above zero and the sound of clapping was the muted thudding of people whacking their mittened hands together. Both Luna and I experienced technical difficulties. She was cold and crying and my fingers froze up so I couldn’t read. Next time I’ll need to just have an outline on a note card in my pocket and keep my hand in there I guess. Anyway, people said it was okay and about 200 of us agreed the Affordable Care Act should not be repealed.

I’m proud to be marching Saturday (virtually): https://disabilitymarch.com/2017/01/15/katherine-schneider/.

Here’s my “Don’t Repeal” the Affordable Care Act speech (the best part is near the end):

I’m here to represent the concerns of the 19% of Americans who have disabilities about repealing the Affordable Care Act. If you’re like me, when something you use is broken, you try to fix it. Please run or ride home after this rally and Email or call our representatives in Washington to ask them to not repeal the Affordable Care Act until they have a better plan in place.

The good things the Affordable Care Act has done and any replacement must do include:

  • Prevent health insurers from denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions
  • No yearly or lifetime caps for how much health care a person can have
  • Supports for people with disabilities to live in community not institutions and
  • Children being able to stay on their parents’ plans until age twenty-six

For those on Medicare, the ACA was phasing out the doughnut hole for prescription drug coverage, so more seniors could afford their medications. If free preventive screenings go away, many Medicare folks will not do the screenings because of high co-pays.

There’s lots more to like about the Affordable Care Act, but time is short. We the people need to rise up and tell our senators and representatives in Washington: don’t pass a budget that eliminates the Affordable Care Act until you have something better on the books.

People with disabilities as well as those who don’t currently have one need access to comprehensive and affordable health care. Medicaid block grants and per capita caps are just fancy ways of saying cuts in service for our most vulnerable citizens.

We the people deserve better! As Helen Keller said: “Our rights are the things we get when we are strong enough to make good our claim to them.”

Isn’t it ironic that a Congress 91% of whom say they are Christian votes to repeal health care for its most vulnerable citizens without a workable solution in place? Isn’t it ironic that a week that starts with the celebration of Martin Luther King Day ends Friday with the inauguration of Mr. Trump?

But wait, the week does not end there! Saturday there are women’s marches in Washington, Madison, virtually… There’s our hope! We the people will do the hard work of trying to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. But if we can’t stop the repeal, we’ll work with people of good will from whatever party to craft a replacement that keeps the good stuff from the ACA.

When it all boils down, it’s we the people that keep America great for all of us. Thank you for coming and for joining me in fighting for the Affordable Care Act!