AL.com: It is going to kill people:' Alabama Indivisible protests Trumpcare with 'die-in'
Passage of the American Health Care Act would be disastrous for the residents of Alabama, according to the progressive grassroots group Alabama Indivisible.
The group held a "die-in" at Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham on Saturday. While some laid in the grass with cardboard tombstones, others passed out flyers to educate passersby on the bill, and to ask them to call their representatives in Congress.
"It is going to kill people," Shea Rives of Alabama Indivisible said, of the new bill.
He said 450 Alabamians will die if they lose their healthcare as a result of Trumpcare.
The House of Representatives voted 217-213 to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act on May 4. All of Alabama's Republican representatives voted for the bill.
Saturday's "die-in" was the third for the group this week. They held one at U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer's Birmingham office and his office in Oneonta.
Jamal Austin, 19, of Birmingham, said he will research the new health care bill after speaking with volunteers from the group.
"This seems like an effective way to raise attention," he said the "die-in," which he called morbid.
Under the new bill, people with preexisting conditions who experience lapses in coverage will pay more in states that opt out of Obamacare regulations.
Before Obamacare, insurance companies could charge customers more based on health status. The Affordable Care Act prohibited companies from charging higher premiums to customers with preexisting conditions. To offset the costs of providing care to more expensive customers, the law required everyone to purchase insurance.
The GOP's American Health Care Act does away with the individual mandate and replaces it with a penalty on those who experience a lapse in coverage.
Also, under the new bill states could opt for waivers that allow higher charges for some customers with preexisting health conditions and exemptions from essential health benefits such as maternity care and mental health coverage.
According to Alabama Indivisible, the legislation was rushed through the House, with no input from healthcare professionals, in back-room, closed-door sessions, and with the final version of the bill becoming available for review only hours before it was voted on.
The group said the intent of the die-in was to "voice our displeasure with Alabama's Congressional delegation for their cynical votes and the intentional deception of their constituents, and to educate the people of Alabama about the horrific effects this bill will have if it becomes law."