Congressional Candidate, Supporters Condemn AHCA At Lafayette Healthcare Vigil

May 17, 2017

West Lafayette resident Alice Pawley holds a sign that reads "Birth is a pre-existing condition" at the vigil Tuesday night.
Credit Charlotte Tuggle / WBAA

A potential challenger to U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Lafayette) held a vigil in Lafayette Tuesday night to decry the House's passage of the American Healthcare Act.

Democratic 4th District candidate Sherry Shipley gathered with Greater Lafayette residents to hear concerns about the proposed replacement for Obamacare.

Many attendees spoke out about what they feel was a lack of representation from incumbent Rokita as the bill was crafted.

Shipley says both diversity and medical professionals are missing from the conversation in Washington.

“We haven’t brought all the stakeholders to the table to try and have a comprehensive answer to this problem,” Shipley says. “We’ve had too many pharmaceutical lobbyists or healthcare lobbyists trying to drive those decisions.”

Shipley says she’s talked to nurses who want to see continued protections for young people and lower pharmaceutical prices.

River Karner helped organize the event and says one of her frustrations is how much certain groups of people would have to pay out of pocket for health care if the Obamacare replacement becomes law.

“I think that this bill stands to leave a lot of poor people, especially poor women, and children, and elderly out in the cold if it passes as-is in the House,” she says.

Many attendees also cited the long list of pre-existing conditions not covered by the bill as chief among their concerns.

West Lafayette resident Alice Pawley attended the vigil and says she's "appalled" that C-sections - a procedure which helped her deliver a child - are included on the pre-existing conditions list.

“I’m also appalled at how maternity care is no longer a requirement of insurance which baffles me, considering everyone is the product of maternity,” Pawley says. “Everyone is born and maternity care is primarily to care for the fetus.”

Shipley says Rokita has backed legislation targeting women in crisis pregnancy situations.