“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas.
The rally, convened by APLA Health, was convened to encourage Republican lawmakers to vote against plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The March started on the steps of the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in the morning and culminated at the Edward R. Roybal Federal Building on East Temple Street in the afternoon.
As the crowd arrived, the count indicated that 28 Republicans intended to vote against the measure, which would stop the overhaul. If all Democrats and 23 Republicans in the House vote against the bill, it would be defeated.
“I think it’s great, I’m hoping those 28 don’t change their mind between now and tonight,” said Dr. Paul Gregerson, the Chief Medical Officer for John Wesley Community Health.
“We believe in justice. We believe in fairness. We believe in healthcare for all!” the Supervisor said.
“If it wasn’t for the Affordable Care Act, I wouldn’t have been able to have my son,” said one clinic patient from Westside Family Health Center who brought her two year son on stage in her arms. “We can’t afford private healthcare, and the ACA has been such a blessing for our family. We are fighting for our right to take care of our next generation so they can be the best citizens they can be!” she said.
40% of the residents of Los Angeles County are enrolled in Medi-Cal. 360,000 residents of the County are enrolled in Covered California.
“Do we have enough faith and enough courage to say, ‘it’s temporary Los Angeles’,” said SEIU ULTCW President Laphonza Butler.
“We’re not going to let them loose their insurance are we? We’re going to keep fighting,” said Department of Health Services Dr. Director Mitchell Katz.
During the press conference after the march, GOP House leaders announced that they would postponed the vote.
“Don’t postpone. Cancel!” the Supervisor said.
The move was seen as a setback for President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan in their first major legislative test.