By Ashli Beverly
NASHVILLE – Dozens of concerned OFA-TN volunteers participated in the nationwide Obamacare Grassroots Action rally in front of the Meharry Medical Group building this past Thursday. Their mission: to get the facts out how Obamacare is working and tell the Tea Party, “Enough Already!”
President Obama’s signature health care law the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, began accepting applications for its health insurance marketplace last week. Organizers say the rally was an attempt to counter what they say is widespread misinformation about the law.
The nationwide rally utilized social network sites, such as Twitter, to help raise awareness by having volunteers tweet their support . Users were asked to tweet #EnoughAlready and #OFAction.
Thursday’s rally was planned before efforts in the House of Representatives to defund the Affordable Care Act led to the recent government shutdown. Many at the rally place blame the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party for the current situation state of the Federal Government.
“I used to pay $300 out-of-pocket for healthcare”, said Nashville resident Janis Tilton. “The Tea Party is holding us hostage.”
House Republicans have demanded cutbacks and delays to the Affordable Care Act in order to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government. That created an impasse between the House and Democratic-led Senate.
Despite the Tea Party’s efforts, Obamacare is in fact working and making health care coverage affordable to millions of Americans, many for the very first time.
“Real people need this and will benefit from this”, said Nashville resident Victoria Webb.
Obamacare will provide uninsured Americans and those seeking to buy private insurance on their own affordable healthcare coverage. 95% of Americans live in states where average premiums will be lower than expected. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that millions of Americans will have access to insurance plans for $100 or less per month.
“Real lives, real stories, this isn’t politics, it’s about people”, said Councilman Jerry Maynard as he led the crowd into a chant, “Tell the Tea Party, enough already!”
Organizing for Action will continue to hold grassroots action events into the spring. OFA volunteers are trained to cut through misinformation and answer common questions about the law and guide their neighbors towards resources that will help them get affordable healthcare coverage if needed. According to OFA more than 3.6 million volunteers have taken action to advance policies like job creation, strengthening the middle class, gun violence prevention, comprehensive immigration reform, measures combating climate change, and health care reform.