VISTA, Calif. – Hundreds of demonstrators held a "die-in" outside the Vista office of Rep. Darrell Issa Tuesday morning to protest Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.
The demonstration was organized by local Democratic Party groups, including MoveOn.org.
"Well we’re just here trying to stand up for the American people and affordable healthcare," said protester Sandy Dildine. "The Republican plan is gonna make it worse. Improve the ACA or go to a single payer medicare for all systems like all other Western Nations."
The demonstrators held hand-made signs and tombstones with messages like "RIP Affordable Health Care," "RIP GOP 'CARE' 24 Million Uninsured" and "RIP Planned Parenthood Funding."
"We’re the No. 1 country in the world. Why, America, don’t we have universal healthcare coverage? This shouldn’t even be an issue anymore," said two-time cancer patient Barbara Main.
Main says the new plan will force people like her to pay more for health services and medications they desperately need.
“The ACA has problems, there’s no question. But the bottom line is let’s take it and improve on it, let’s cover people. Health shouldn’t be a right. Right? It should just be a given," said Main. "Now I question whether or not I’ll be able to get the medications under the new plan that I need right now to help overcome the difficulties of overcoming cancer."
Ellen Montanari is the parent of two children with special needs. She says their healthcare costs under the ACA are already through the roof. The new Trump Care plan will make care for her children unaffordable.
"I can certainly speak about my own daughter who is disabled, and if this plan goes through her coverage, she’s on Medical, her coverage over time will be cut. How are we going to afford that? I have two kids with special needs," said Montanari. "You know I don’t think there’s anyone here who thinks that the Affordable Care Act is perfect. But fix it. Don’t make it worse."
Organizers estimated that more than 300 people took part in the protest.
A "Call to the Conscience of Congress"candlelight vigil is planned in Hillcrest at 6 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Church, 4910 Front Street, San Diego.