People in Oregon express concern about health care plan - KPTV - FOX 12

People in Oregon express concern about health care plan

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A day before Senate Republicans plan to unveil a draft of their health care plan, Oregonians worried about the change gathered to share their concerns.

For weeks now, Republican leaders have been meeting behind closed doors while Democrats have accused them of writing their bill under "a cover of darkness."

Wednesday morning, grassroots groups got together at Unite Oregon on North Killingsworth to share why they are worried Republicans will drastically change the Affordable Care Act, or even repeal it, and radically cut Medicaid.

They said that if the Republican Senate bill is anything like the Republican House bill, almost half a million Oregonians would lose health care coverage. They also claimed the average Oregon family may end up paying another $2,000 a year for health care.

Many of those in attendance, including Kalpana Kristhamurthy, worry those with pre-existing conditions may be out of luck and won't be able to get insurance.

Kristhamurthy's 6-year old son has leukemia, and she fears that even though he survived his fight with the disease he won’t be able to get insurance in the future.

“I don't know what’s in the Senate bill and I don't know if my son who is surviving cancer will ever be able to get his own health insurance when he goes out into the world,” she said. “When he gets a job, will he ever be able to have coverage because of his preexisting condition as a cancer survivor?”

Just days after turning 30 last year, Andrea Tolbert learned she had a brain tumor.

What followed was a 28-day medical nightmare, including hemorrhaging and a stroke. She nearly died and now has lifelong medical problems, and is fearful that the new legislation will only compound those challenges.

“I'm worried about all the insurance being taken away because that's what it can do, it can take everything back because you're not going to be able to pay for it,” she said. “You're not going to have the right funds to push forward and actually live your life.”

Senate Republican leaders said they want to hold a vote on their plan next week.

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