Punta Gorda protesters take aim at repeal-and-replace effort

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Punta Gorda protesters take aim at repeal-and-replace effort

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. Residents protested plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Healthcare Act on Thursday outside the office of U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney.

Republicans in the House were moving close to agreement on a new health care measure but failed to muster the consensus needed for a vote, a setback for Speaker Paul Ryan and President Donald Trump.

But earlier in the day, as a vote appeared imminent, protesters expressed concern about what would happen if the so-called Obamacare law went away.

Julie Stewart, one of the demonstrators, believes Trump’s proposal would make her go bankrupt. She pays $145 a month but thinks that price would escalate.

“I will not enjoy the coverage that I need as a person in their early 60s who’s still years away from Medicare,” Stewart said. “Unfortunately, they’re just throwing us under the bus.”

Protester Joan Roscoe, another of the 30-some protesters who showed up Thursday, said she pays $131 a month for health care she needs, but she’s worried important benefits would disappear under a new healthcare law.

“I get a free mammogram, a free colonoscopy, I get to see my internal medicine doctor once or twice a year and I get free blood work,” Roscoe said.

Rooney isn’t committing to his vote until he can see the final wording of the bill.

House representatives were expected to meet Thursday night to consider their next step.

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