MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphians gathered downtown to protest the Republican-backed health care plan, better known as the Graham-Cassidy bill.
The "Kill the Bill" rally took place at noon Monday at Civic Center Plaza.
"This is not a political issue. It is not an ideological issue. This is a matter of right and wrong," Sarah Turner, who opposes the bill, said.
Organizers cited the following reasons for the protest:
- 32 million Americans would lose health care
- The bill would take away federal protections for pre-existing conditions
- The bill proposes 34 percent cuts to Medicaid via block grants
- Premiums would go up
- The plan would defund Planned Parenthood
Turner's children have preexisting conditions, and she fears if the Graham-Cassidy bill passes she will not be able to afford their healthcare.
"I cannot imagine the turmoil that this is going to put families in if I have coverage on Dec. 31, or whatever year this bill takes effect, and lose it in January," Turner said.
More than 500,000 Tennesseans could lose their health care if Graham-Cassidy becomes law, according to the Center for American Progress. The flip side, according to Senator Lamar Alexander, is Tennessee would get more than $6 billion for TennCare.
In a statement, Alexander said:
"We have to do something because this bill is worse than all the others," Emily Fulmer of Indivisible Memphis said.
Those at the rally sent a message to senators like Alexander who will soon have to vote on this controversial bill. The vote is expected to happen next week.