News Advisory Maryland Residents Advocate for Healthcare; Stand in Solidarity with DACA

| September 27, 2017 | 0 Comments

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, September 26th, Maryland residents and members of Progressive Maryland traveled to the office of Congressional District 1’s Andy Harris, MD to advocate for healthcare for all. While members were not able to meet with Harris himself, who was meeting with the Freedom Caucus to discuss “tax reform, the Graham-Cassidy bill, and more,” they were able to meet with a senior policy staff member to air their grievances. Members voiced concerns about Harris’ affirmative vote of the AHCA, with the troublesome potential of the Graham-Cassidy Bill being much worse for Maryland residents and everyone in our country.

“We traveled to our nation’s capital yesterday to make three demands of Representative Harris: First, to vote NO for the Graham-Cassidy Amendment should it arrive on his desk after a Senate vote. Second, to vote YES to fully and permanently fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program, or CHIP. Third, through avenues such as tax reform and the 2018 Federal Budget, Rep. Harris should OPPOSE all healthcare and other social welfare cuts.” explains Beth Landry, RN, and Healthcare Organizer for Progressive Maryland. “These are crucial for the well-being of not only his constituents, but all Maryland residents and people of our nation. We informed Representative Harris’ policy aide that should he not follow through with the demands of the people, it would likely be him repealed and replaced – not the Affordable Care Act.”

Art Holt, hemophilia and healthcare advocate, recalls, “the staffer seemed to understand how difficult it is for someone who is sick to do things that only healthy people can do like figure out how to find health insurance, find appropriate treatment,  and figure out how to get reimbursements.  I wonder what the statistic is for people who become so frustrated then depressed and end up in poverty and homelessness,  and eventually end their lives either through suicide, drug use, or just self-neglect. We need to be constantly vigilant to any efforts to undermine the ACA – people’s lives are at risk.”

Immediately after the legislative visit, business in the Harris office grinded to a halt when several members of CASA entered the office and participated in a sit-in for DACA and Dreamers. Progressive Maryland and CASA members in the office of Rep. Harris joined hundreds completing over 55 office sit-ins on Capitol Hill this afternoon. These actions were inspired by the need for a “clean” Dream Act  because of DACA’s cancellation and to save the TPS (Temporary Protected Status) program.

 

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