Kentucky, Indiana, and Ohio citizens join together to stand up for Healthcare
July 9th, 2017: Covington, Kentucky – Over 270 people from the Tri-State area met on the Roebling Suspension bridge to express their concerns about the current legislation in the Senate that threatens to strip healthcare from 22 million Americans. Local citizens gathered on both sides of the bridge and marched to meet the middle in a show of unified purpose.
Andrea Reimer Ankrum, a member of Indivisible NKY District 4, said, “We need our elected officials to listen to the people and do what’s best for America and not for themselves and their party.” She pointed to her sign, which called for no cuts to Medicaid, Planned Parenthood, Public Health funds, mental health services or preventative care.
Many participants talked about the issue as an ethical decision. Stan Heck viewed the proposed legislation as “a big tax cut for the rich” and flatly stated that to “remove $800 billion from Medicaid is just immoral.” Members and supporters from Indivisible NKY District 4, NKY Unites!, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, Together We Will Cincinnati/Southwest Ohio, and the Northern Kentucky Chapter of Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, all non-partisan groups, want to send a message to their legislators that people throughout the Tri-State are in favor of ensuring affordable healthcare for everyone.
Marilyn Schleyer, an Associate member of the Sisters of Divine Providence, said “It is important for me to be here today because I have spent most of my life in healthcare…I know that what is being proposed is going to put our children and grandchildren in harm’s way.” She also spoke about the specific impact on Kentucky, “Kentucky has some of the highest mortality rates in the country related to diabetes, and cancer and heart disease. Kentucky has an extraordinarily viable Medicaid expansion program and to try to repeal any of that is unconscionable.”
JoAnn Schwartz, from Kentuckians for the Commonwealth also spoke about the specific impact on her state, “I know I have heard the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce speak and one of their missions is a healthy workforce. Well, how are you going to get a healthy workforce when you’ve got so few people insured by their company and so many part-time workers that have nothing but medicare or Obamacare. I’m think the chamber should be here.”
The bridge rally was one of several held in local states in support of healthcare rights, including bridge events between Ohio and West Virginia on July 6th and Kentucky and Indiana on July 7th.