Seniors peacefully protest new healthcare plan


On behalf of senior citizens concerned about the future of their healthcare, nine people gathered at Rep. Steve Knight’s Santa Clarita office Thursday morning to protest the newly proposed Republican healthcare plan.

The group, who organized to meet on, walked inside with signs in hand and spoke to Knight’s district representative Joshua Rivers.

“I am happy to meet with the constituents of Santa Clarita to pass concerns on to the congressman,” Rivers said.

Santa Clarita Valley resident and registered nurse Vicki Keller said everyone who works in her medical office Passport Health is in favor of maintaining the Affordable Care Act instead of changing to the new plan proposed under the Republican bill which would repeal some provisions of the ACA.

“It’s going to be a definite negative for the health and welfare of the American people if we go with the current Republican proposed plan,” Keller said. “We wanted to let Representative Steve Knight know that there are many constituents in Santa Clarita who are very concerned about the current Republican bill to change healthcare.”

Holly Brannon, also a Santa Clarita local, said the Affordable Care Act has provided her with the best healthcare she has ever had. She said she hopes Knight does not vote in favor of the new plan but encourages ways for people to keep their healthcare.

“The new proposed healthcare plan is so bad for seniors, for poor people and for children,” Brannon said. “I just think it’s horrible what would happen to that population group, myself included. I’ll probably be okay, but it’s not about me, it’s about the whole country.”

Resident Gayle Vogel said she is concerned about healthcare for herself and her husband as they near retirement, as well as coverage for her 14-year-old son who lives with disabilities. She said with the combination of her son’s medical problems, her own predisposed conditions and her husband’s history with cancer, her family would be put in a “high-risk” category.

“I’m very concerned about the healthcare we may or may not be able to have down the line,” Vogel said. “It would probably price us out of the market. It’s a matter of life and death.”

Valeria Vezzali, the youngest in the group by at least 20 years, said she came to represent younger groups afraid of losing their healthcare.

“The Republicans are not really thinking of making America great again with these type of policies and we all need to be informed,” Vezzali said. “It affects all of our futures, even though we’re not seniors now, we all will be affected by it.”


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