Enrollment for coverage under the Affordable Care Act opened Wednesday and a group of local Democrats want everyone to know.
At a rally outside Congressman Steve Knight’s Santa Clarita office, CA25 United for Progress and supporters from the district brought attention to the open enrollment date and encouraged other constituents to do their research to see which plan is right for them.
“We are in a life or death situation now in America,” 25UP’s Chairman Philip Germain said about the uncertainty of the future of health care.
With his dad’s cancer, his sister’s Crohn’s disease, his girlfriend’s diabetes and his own preexisting condition because of a surgery, Germain said ensuring access to the ACA is critical and beneficial himself and his loved ones.
As Knight (R-Palmdale) voted in favor of the American Health Care Act, the House Republican effort to repeal and replace the ACA, Germain said it is not helpful to constituents.
“When I see our Congressman Steve Knight vote to cut health care for people like my family, like myself, it makes me wonder whose side he’s really on,” Germain said.
Registered nurse Cis Guba-Herskovitz said she does not think the ACA should be repealed, but improved.
“We don’t need to repeal because the bottom line is that this is such a complex situation and issue,” Guba-Herskovitz said. “We need to reevaluate it every year and look at what works and what doesn’t work.”
This extends beyond physical care and stretches into mental health care and prescriptions and is applicable to people of all ages, she said. Ensuring care for all is a “moral obligation,” according to the registered nurse.
Santa Clarita local insurance agent Harry Reed sells health care through the ACA as part of his job.
Informing people about its benefits is his top priority.
“The more we tell people the truth, the better,” Reed said. “That gives us an advantage.”
Attendees wrote on cards to share with Knight about their support for the ACA and delivered them to the congressman’s staff upstairs. One of Knight’s staff members opened the door, listened to their concerns and took the cards.
“It should be a moment in which our representative is focused and dedicated on making sure thousands of his constituents are getting covered, are getting enrolled and we are doing the best we can to give the best quality care to constituents,” Antelope Valley resident Brandon Zavala said before rallying the group to write their notes.
Since California runs its own insurance exchange, residents have until Jan. 31 to sign up for the ACA. Most other states have until Dec. 15.
For more information, visit healthcare.gov.