Hundreds gather to protest ACA replacement bill

Opponents say 62,000 in 9th Congressional District will lose insurance coverage

By Rob Manch - Reporter

RADFORD, Va. - A group of hundreds in Radford protested the Republican proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act. The NRV Indivisible group held a rally Sunday with 62,000 paper chain links in Bissett Park to symbolize the 62,000 people projected to lose healthcare in Virginia's 9th Congressional district.

The symbolic chain stretched three miles in length.

"We wanted to make people really look at this in terms of this is a human life that will lose insurance and what that could mean for that person," said event Co-Chair Alexa Casey.

Casey says what that could mean is people not having access to a doctor. One of those people is Chet Jennelle, who uses Medicaid and has Aspergers syndrome.

"Yes it is very frightening... because i don't know where i would be if i don't have it," Jennelle said.

Another man, Raymond Rosno, says his mother is now in around the-clock care, and represents another link in that chain.

"The devastation is going to be to nursing homes, most people don't realize that, the kind of money it's going to take away from rural hospitals. these are the people that are going to be really badly hurt, and I don't think a lot of people understand that," said Rosno.

Many at the rally railed against Congressman Morgan Griffith, who voted for the repeal. His website says "While Obamacare has helped some people get insurance, I consistently hear from constituents that due to increases in co-pays, deductibles, and the base cost of their insurance, they believe they were better off financially, and had better insurance, before the onset of Obamacare."

Nevertheless, people are going to try to change his mind. Now, the plan is to take all 62 thousand links of that chain, package them up in trash bags and drop them off right at Griffith's office. Casey says she hopes the symbolism isn't lost on Griffith.

"It's about people and human life, and it matters to all of us, so i just hope that everyone realizes that and they get involved, and they really pay attention to what this actually means," said Casey.

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