30K Petitions against senate healthcare bill delivered to Portman’s Office

FILE - In this March 27, 2012 file photo, Amy Brighton from Medina, Ohio, who opposes health care reform, holds a sign in front of the Supreme Court in Washington during a rally as the court continues arguments on the health care law signed by President Barack Obama. Most Americans want the Supreme Court to side with the government when it decides whether the feds can continue subsidizing insurance premiums in all 50 states under President Barack Obama’s health care law, according to polls in recent months. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Republicans are scrambling trying to save their Obamacare replacement plan.

Senators are bracing for anger as they head home next week and try to answer for a bill only 16 percent of Americans support, according to a new Quinnipiac poll.

The Ohio Democratic Party delivered letters to Senator Rob Portman’s office and broadcast live on social media Wednesday.  Urging Portman to “support a bill that’s fair, that’s done in a transparent way.”

“We’re calling on him to be accountable to more than just the Republicans in Ohio. He has to represent the Democrats, the independents and everybody in between,” Collen Lowry said.

They read a few of the 31,000 petitions from people across the state, urging Portman to vote against the Senate Healthcare bill.

“If it wasn’t for the Medicaid expansion I would still be without healthcare,” one petition read.  Another expressed that a yes vote would undo efforts to combat the opioid crisis in the state. “All of your work will be for nothing, if the Senate’s Healthcare bill passes.”

That’s one of the reasons Portman says he won’t support the bill in its current form.

“I continue to have questions about the effect of this bill on people in Ohio who are getting coverage now,” Portman explained.  He goes on to say, “We’re going to do what we think meets the needs of Ohioans and as I said we got some issues in Ohio right now with regard to the way we affordable care act is not working for a lot of middle-class families. We also have Medicaid expansion. We have a big issue with opioids.”

Dayton mayor Nan Whaley said losing medical expansion would be damaging for Ohioans.

“If that goes away, that effect would be detrimental.  I mean that’s how we’re trying to get people into treatment if they’re addicted to opioids.  You know it’s a key part of the continuum.  Our police and fire fighters are on the front lines of that and we offer treatment over and over again.  If we don’t have Medicaid in that conversation there is no way to pay for that,” Whaley said.

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