Thursday Protests Against Repealing Obamacare Means Street Closures

Thursday Protests Against Repealing Obamacare Means Street Closures

Protest coincides with yearly congressional Republican retreat
Start: Thomas Paine Plaza near City Hall
1401 John F Kennedy Blvd, Philadelphia, PA 19102
11am, Thursday, January 26, 2017
Thousands of people will come together in Philadelphia to protest plans by Republican members of Congress to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The protest coincides with an annual retreat for congressional Republicans where President Trump will be in attendance. The retreat will be held from January 25 to 27 in Philadelphia.

Protesters will demand lawmakers:

• improve, not repeal the Affordable Care Act;
• reject Medicare vouchers;
• protect senior citizens;
• say no to slashing $1 trillion from state funding for Medicaid, which will cut coverage and raise out of pocket costs for the 73 million working families, seniors, and people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid; and
• lower prescription drug costs by using Medicare and Medicaid to negotiate better deals from drug corporations

Road Closures:
The following roads will be closed beginning at 8am Thursday and will remain closed until at least 6pm Thursday night:
13th Street from Chestnut Street to Market Street
Market Street from 11th Street to Juniper Street
12th Street from Chestnut to Arch Street
The public should expect rolling road closures during dignitary movement on Thursday.
Parking Restrictions:
The following parking restrictions will go into effect at 6am Thursday:
13th Street from Chestnut to Market Streets
Market Street from 11th Street to Juniper Street
12th Street from Chestnut to Arch Street
PPA and PPD will tow any cars located on those streets to the PPA impoundment lot at 2501 S. Weccacoe Avenue in South Philadelphia. The parking restrictions will be lifted when the roads reopen to vehicular traffic Thursday evening.
Pedestrian Restrictions:
The United States Secret Service is establishing a secure perimeter that will limit pedestrian access to the following streets starting at 6am on Thursday:
1100 and 1200 block of Market – both north and south sides
12th Street from Chestnut to Filbert Streets – both east and west sides
13th Street from Chestnut to Market Streets – both east and west sides

Medicaid & Medicare Impact by Attack on Affordable Care Act

Medicaid & Medicare Impact by Attack on Affordable Care Act

Concerning Medicaid, Patrick Keenan, director of Consumer Protections and Policy with the Pennsylvania Health Access Network said he is alarmed by proposals being made by lawmakers opposed to the Affordable Care Act in Congress. “Those proposals not only reverse or limit the expansion that we were able to take benefit of in Pennsylvania, but it actually goes to changing the heart of the Medicaid program and how it’s financed and how it’s structured. Most of the proposals would limit block grants and per capita caps. What they would basically do is upset the Medicaid apple cart.”

That means that states would no longer have to comply with certain standards and could impose any changes they wanted. “Everything would be up for grabs, and Medicaid could no longer be an entitlement program.”  Keenan believes it is likely that protections and standards would not be required any longer by the state administered programs, and they would no longer be obliged to cover as many groups and types of individuals. That would include folks like seniors, persons with disabilities, children, and pregnant women. “It would be not just rolling back the ACA; it’s actually rolling back decades of progress we have made in Pennsylvania,” Keenan said.

In terms of Medicare, Keenan said that “the Affordable Care Act made huge improvements for seniors and other persons who rely on this income. Unfortunately the best kept secret about the ACA are those improvements. What it did was lowered prescription drug costs, as well as makes sure that seniors are getting more financial help and resources.”

The ACA also monitors the numerous Medicare advantage plans, the private HMO-esque plans, through the implementation of a ratings system to make sure only high quality plans are offered. Under the ACA, if plans do not meet certain standards, they can no longer be sold. Keenan says that PHAN wants to ensure that “Quality, timely care for seniors which is affordable remains available. The organization strives to create more innovative models to get seniors the care that they need in a responsible way.” Additionally, very often “at risk” seniors use a combination of Medicaid and Medicare. An overhaul of the ACA would place these most vulnerable seniors at risk.

“The Affordable Care Act is something that doesn’t just affect the 1.1 million Pennsylvanians that have been enrolled in coverage under the ACA, (but also) the 430,000 in the marketplace and 700,000 in Medicaid expansion,” Keenan said.

Philly Rally Supporting Affordable Healthcare

Philly Rally Supporting Affordable Healthcare

Hundreds gathered outside Temple hospital on Sunday, rallying in opposition to plans to get rid of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Senator Bob Casey ( in photo with microphone in hand) said he will continue fighting for affordable healthcare in the US Senate.