Protesters urge Sen. Portman to vote against AHCA

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Protesters gathered on Monday inside the Ohio Union, where Sen. Rob Portman was speaking at a space symposium.

People are calling on him to vote against the American Health Care Act, which passed the House last week.

“Sen. Portman, you’ve got to stand up for us,” said protester Rick Neal. “We need you to stand up for us now.”

Neal said he’s worried what the AHCA might do to the Medicaid expansion in Ohio.

“Ohioans need him to be our firewall now, so that people don’t have their healthcare stripped away from them and so that people members of my family who benefit from the medicaid expansion here in Ohio and we need it and he’s got to understand that,” he said.

A doctor all the way from West Chester came to the OSU campus, just to have her voice heard.

“Folks who have preexisting conditions like diabetes, cancer, psychiatric conditions, heart disease, I’m afraid many of them won’t be able to afford insurance anymore,” said Dr. Alexandra Jordan.

She said she’s seen many of her patients benefit both from the Medicaid expansion and Affordable Care Act exchanges.

“I’m concerned that a lot of those people who have recently gained insurance are going to be disenfranchised,” said Dr. Jordan.

They’re hoping Sen. Portman votes against the bill.

“As much as I want him to do the right thing, I’m not sure I can trust him to do the right thing,” said Neal.

Sen. Portman has said he does not support the House bill as it is right now.

Press secretary from his office, Emily Benavides sent NBC4 this statement regarding the protest:

“Rob is an independent voice for Ohio and he will continue to work on behalf of families who need quality health care, especially those who are struggling with opioid addiction.”

Last week Sen. Portman said in a statement, “The status quo on healthcare is unsustainable.” He went on to say he has concerns the AHCA doesn’t do enough to protect Ohio’s Medicaid expansion, especially those fighting opiate addiction.

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