The air was cold and crisp in the bright sunshine outside Rep. Jack Bergman’s office Wednesday afternoon in Traverse City, where 75 to 100 people gathered on the eve of the House vote to repeal and replace the ACA. Most like Christina from Traverse City, were there because of concerns that so many people are in danger of losing their healthcare. “I’m here, she said, “because I hear my two children, who are physicians, talk about how wonderful it has been to have people getting care that have needed it for so long. They are finally getting it and now they are facing not having it anymore! It is very painful. Very scary. What can they do if they haven’t insurance anymore? I’m here because I don’t understand why we’re the only developed country in the world that doesn’t take of its people’s healthcare!”
Lena Gerstle, a high school Junior from Traverse City Central High School said, “I’m here because I really don’t want the ACA to get replaced because it’s so important. So many people will die if they can’t get healthcare if it’s repealed.”
Most carried creative signs expressing their concerns: “Tax Cuts for the Rich so the Old & Poor Have Freedom to Die.” Ken Peress carried a blow up of Paul Ryan as the Grim Reaper. His wife Nan’s sign displayed a Skull and Bones labeled “Trumpcare” in large letters beneath. She said, “I firmly believe that this Wealthcare Program that they have created is really a Deathcare Program. Yesterday I met a cardiologist who said he is going to lose a lot of patients because they will not be able to pay for their care. I think that’s an absolute tragedy and we have to say something.”
Linda Pepper from Grawn, carried a sign which read, “How do You Feel With No Health Insurance? SICK!” She said, “I’m very mad about what they are doing to Obamacare. It was a good bill that needed some work. Now they are giving us a crazy bill that is going to kick people off [health insurance.] Do you realize that 30,000 people of Jack’s constituents got Obamacare? Now 25,000 are going to lose it.”
Many like Gloria Katz, carried signs that read simply, “Where’s Jack?” “I feel very strongly that our Representative is a persona that doesn’t show up. He’s not real. There’s no one here, and we need someone to represent us, and do what needs to be done.”
The rally concluded with protestors lining nearby Garfield Rd. while drivers waved and honked in support. The event was covered by Channels 9 & 10, and 7 & 4.