Powerful Scenes from the Health Care Rally Outside Congress

It’s organized by groups like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

Protesters march around the Capitol to voice their opposition to the GOP health care legislation on Wednesday, June 28, 2017.Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via AP Images

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Senate Republicans may have ditched their plans to hold a health care vote this week, but that didn’t stop protesters from flooding the US Capitol grounds Wednesday afternoon to voice their opposition to the GOP’s plan to repeal Obamacare. The protest, dubbed Linking Together: March to Save our Care, was organized by a host of liberal groups, including Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, SEIU, and others.

With the bill on hold, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is still working behind the scenes to craft a deal and is hoping to vote once senators return from recess next month. The current iteration of the bill would leave 22 million more people uninsured by 2026 than under current law. It would implement massive cuts to Medicaid—reducing spending on the program by $772 billion over the next decade—in order to fund massive tax cuts, which would largely benefit the richest Americans. “The 400 highest-income taxpayers alone would receive tax cuts worth about $33 billion from 2019 through 2028, which is more than the federal spending cuts from ending the Medicaid expansion in any one of 20 expansion states and the District of Columbia,” the liberal Center for Budget and Policy Priorities concluded, based on the version of the legislation that passed the House last month.

Meanwhile, both the House and Senate bills include provisions that would allow states to opt out of Obamacare regulations that require insurance to cover categories of essential health benefits, a key protection for people who have preexisting conditions. Both bills would allow insurance companies to jack up rates on older Americans and would offer less money than Obamacare to help poor people buy insurance on the individual market.

Mother Jones’ Patrick Caldwell, Hannah Levintova, and Mark Helenowski are on the scene at the protest, and we’ll be adding live updates from what they see there.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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