Many health care advocates breathed a sigh a relief after the Senate’s recent efforts to scrap the Affordable Care Act failed in late July.
But local and national participants in a rally at Kansas City’s City Hall Wednesday afternoon had a message for those concerned about the fate of healthcare: Don’t let up.
“Now it’s important that two things happen,” former Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander told the several dozen participants. “One, that we continue that momentum to make sure they can’t sneak through the back door and try and do it when no one’s looking. And second, to make sure that we take that enthusiasm and make sure that more people get care.”
Kander, a Democrat who narrowly lost his 2016 bid to unseat Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, praised ACA provisions mandating coverage for preexisting conditions and providing subsidies to help consumers pay for their health insurance.
Kander also urged advocates to extend their efforts and push for a single-payer health care system.
Other rally participants, including Kansas City Mayor Sly James, urged lawmakers to hold town halls and meet with voter before considering any changes to the health care law.
The rally was part of a two-month-long bus tour, dubbed “Our Lives on the Line,” that plans to travel through congressional districts and states of lawmakers who voted to replace and repeal the ACA.
Alex Smith is a health reporter for KCUR. You can reach him on Twitter @AlexSmithKCUR