Protestors gather in Bowling Green against proposed health care bill

Maureen Davis, the rally organizer, speaks to the group of protestors outside of Mitch McConnell’s office on Friday, Sept. 22 in downtown Bowling Green. The group was protesting the GOP’s latest healthcare bill. Davis’s sign read “Honk if you want to ditch Mitch”.

Emily DeLetter

Protestors gathered Friday evening across the street from the Natcher Federal Building in downtown Bowling Green to protest the latest health care bill aiming to replace the Affordable Care Act.

Demonstrators brought signs and spoke out in opposition to the latest proposed health care bill across the street from Republican Senator Mitch McConnell’s Bowling Green office.

The most recent version of the Affordable Care Act replacement bill, drafted by Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, would allow states to opt out of many Affordable Care Act regulations.

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The effective deadline for lawmakers to pass a replacement health care bill is Saturday, Sept. 30, the last day the special budget procedure allows the legislation to advance without any Democratic votes, according to Politico.

Many notable Republican congressmen recently came out against the latest version of the bill, including Senators John McCain from Arizona and Rand Paul from Kentucky.

“We all got a boost today when we heard McCain came out as a ‘no’ on the Graham/Cassidy bill,” rally organizer Maureen Davis said. “But we know they won’t stop, so we won’t stop raising our voices.”

Davis organized the rally and is associated with BGKY: Social Justice Clearinghouse, a Facebook group that began after President Donald Trump’s inauguration in January. The organization has held previous rallies in Bowling Green, including a demonstration against Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.

The group is also affiliated with the larger organization Indivisible Kentucky, an organization who, according to its website, holds “members of Congress accountable to the principles of democracy and the values of respect.”

Davis began the rally by speaking to the group about the importance of health care for Americans. Davis said she believes a country as rich as the United States should have affordable, quality health care for all people, and there should be a bi-partisan effort in Congress to work towards such a goal.

“We have to pressure them [Kentucky congressmen] time and time again, and show them that the power of the people is greater than the people in power,” Davis said.

Many protestors brought signs voicing their opinion, which included “Honk if You Wanna Ditch Mitch,” and “Remember the Bowling Green Massacre”.

Other rally attendees voiced their concern for the bill, saying that Americans should be more focused on providing health care and education over military spending and funding construction of a wall bordering Mexico.

The group conversation started on health care, but also addressed other issues such as the economy, the coal industry, and Kentucky senator and Bowling Green resident Rand Paul.

Bowling Green resident Natalie Embry-Cardwell was one of the people protesting the proposed healthcare bill. Embry-Cardwell said she is not insured under the Affordable Care Act, but is familiar with the system through her job in health care. She also helped take care of her mother, who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and benefited from Medicare and Medicaid.

She said she feels a passion for watching out for underdogs and people who need assistance.

“We have earthquakes, hurricanes and North Korea to worry about,” Embry-Cardwell said. “But we still have to worry about health care tomorrow.”

Reporter Emily DeLetter can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected].