Greensboro News & Record: Small group protests at Rep. Mark Walker's office for continued ACA funding
Donald Trump has recently threatened to stop subsidies which would lead to an increase in premiums and insurance companies pulling out from the individual insurance exchange market. About half a million North Carolinians are on the exchange that Trump and the GOP are determined to sabotage. In response to this, several North Carolinians gathered at Rep. Mark Walker's office in Greensboro on Tuesday to share how the GOP is sabotaging their health care. Rep. Walker outrageously responded by saying that these subsidies are bailouts that mask the failures of the ACA.
President Donald Trump has threatened to halt the subsidies, which make insurance accessible to poorer Americans. Critics have said the move would increase premiums for consumers and lead to insurance companies withdrawing from the individual insurance exchange market.
About 500,000 North Carolinians purchase insurance from the exchange, according to federal statistics. Many of those policies cover children with disabilities, such as Javier Chaires, a Greensboro 2-year-old with Down syndrome.
“He and his parents are not freeloaders,” said Christy Robinson, a Winston-Salem resident and member of advocacy group Women of Action. “They are terrified, and they need your help.”
Walker and other Republicans have said that the subsidies are illegal because they were never authorized by Congress. A federal District Court judge last year agreed and halted the payments but suspended the order to give the government a chance to appeal. The appeal is still in progress, according to The New York Times.
Walker was in Alamance County on Tuesday and did not attend the protest, according to a spokesman.
In a statement, Walker said that continuing the payments would amount to a bailout that would “mask the failures of Obamacare at the expense of hardworking taxpayers.
“The people of North Carolina are already paying enough because of Obamacare’s pitfalls,” he said. “Instead of the executive branch issuing unconstitutional payments to bail out insurance companies, the Senate should continue working until they have passed a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. Their constituents are tired of their inability to fulfill their promise.”