HOUSTON - Both constituents and non-constituents of Houston-area Congressman John Culberson (R) came by the dozen to an office park in Memorial on Sunday in a showing of opposition to Thursday’s passage of an Affordable Care Act reform bill by the U.S. House of Representatives.
Representative Culberson was among those in the House who voted in favor of the bill.
The bill proposes dramatic financial cuts to the existing Obamacare legislation.
The most contentious part of the new bill for protestors at Sunday's rally on the 10000-block of Memorial drive is the possibility that subscribers with pre-existing conditions may be charged more for their insurance.
"It does not cover preexisting conditions, period," demonstrator Daniel Cohen said. "They say that it does but it's a backdoor loophole for big insurance to deny people benefits by giving them outrageous rates, and washing them out of the system. It's basically a death pool waiting to happen."
House Speaker Paul Ryan has said a potential increase in premiums for those with preexisting conditions would only occur if the subscriber had a lapse in coverage, then tried to sign back up. He likened the scenario to a homeowner trying to buy fire insurance while his home is burning.
Demonstrator Jaime Lawson has multiple sclerosis.
Lawson says her medications without insurance would cost around $7,000 per month. She says if she lost coverage it could spell a death sentence.
“The measure of a society is how we take care of the most vulnerable," Lawson said. I think the wealthy are pretty OK right now. So while I don’t have anything against anyone working hard and getting where they are, and being successful, I have a problem with them not taking care of the people whose backs they got wealthy off of.”
Security guards at the building which houses Rep. Culberson's office instructed the KHOU-11 news crew to stop speaking with demonstrators on the grassy area near the sidewalk.
KHOU-11 reached out to Rep. Culberson and was still awaiting a response as of late Sunday night.
Several other legislators from Texas are playing pivotal roles in the crafting of the new healthcare legislation.
Congressman Kevin Brady (R), of The Woodlands, who also voted in favor of the bill, stood at President Trump's side as House Republicans celebrated the bill's passage on Thursday.
The bill now heads to the U.S. Senate for review.
Among a 12-senator working group reportedly organized to revise the House version of the bill, are both U.S. senators from Texas, Sen. Ted Cruz (R), and Sen. John Cornyn (R).
Senator Cornyn sent out a tweet on Friday dispelling rumors that the senate would be composing a new bill from scratch.
"When we get 51 senators, we'll vote," Sen. Cornyn said when asked about a timeline.
The American Health Care Act is expected to cut Medicaid by about $900-billion dollars over the next decade as it is currently written, according to a CBS News report.
The report also estimates approximately 14 million Medicaid participants will lose their Medicaid coverage during this time period.
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