Protesters rail against U.S. Senate health care proposal at state Capitol rally

More than 100 people rallied Sunday at the state Capitol to condemn a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act with a Republican alternative that they said will strip coverage from millions while delivering a tax cut to the rich.

“Republicans should abandon this bill that nobody wants,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, told the crowd at the rally, arranged by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative.

The Senate is considering a GOP health care bill that would keep intact much of the 2010 health care law, known as Obamacare, but would eliminate a large portion of funding that makes it available to low-income people.

The bill would cut funding for Medicaid, which was expanded under the ACA.

Lecia Papadopoulos, whose 20-year-old-daughter was born with cystic fibrosis and is severely disabled, said the Medicaid program made it possible for her daughter to get care she needs without being isolated at a residential facility.

Without that, Papadopoulos said, she would have to stay home from work to give her daughter the intensive care she needs at her own home.

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  • Individuals with severe intellectual and physical disabilities depend on Medicaid to maintain independent living.

    Home and community-based services, as they’re called, allow for in-home care and help individuals continue to go to work and participate in their community.

    “Medicaid saved my daughter’s life and my ability to give her a home, and still be able to work,” she said.

    The Rev. Timothy Tyler of Shorter Community AME Church urged the crowd to call U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and tell him to vote against the bill.

    “Call Sen. Gardner, and let him know the same people who put him into office are more than excited to take him out,” Tyler said. “This health care bill is designed to kill. … It is designed to make the rich richer and the sick sicker.”

    Updated July 10, 2017 at 10:58 a.m. Because of a reporter’s error, this story incorrectly described the living situation of a 20-year-old woman who has cystic fibrosis. She lives in the community.

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