The usual tone at the “Fridays Without Fitzpatrick” rallies has not been jovial for much of Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick’s freshman term.
A common thread amongst the varying issues covered at the gatherings has been healthcare and the lacking of in-person town halls put on by the congressman. This past Friday, those gathered outside Fitzpatrick’s office had something to celebrate.
Early Friday morning, a “skinny repeal,” an act that would modestly scale back some of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, failed. The news promised the continuation of Obamacare, at least awhile more. The gathering protestors outside of Fitzpatrick’s Middletown office were relishing the vote.
Gayle Share-Kaab was a member of the group meeting outside of Fitzpatrick’s office. Share-Kaab and her whole family of four each have a pre-existing condition. Her husband is self-employed and the family buys their health insurance through the Obamacare marketplace, paying about $24,000 every year in premiums.
Losing health insurance is a huge concern for Share-Kaab and her family.
“If we were to end up in the hospital, we would need to sell our house,” Share-Kaab said, explaining the effects not having insurance would have on the family.
“What we have is barebones, but it is really all that we can get.”
The Newtown resident’s concern lies in the protections for pre-existing conditions offered by Obamacare. If her and her family’s conditions were no longer protected, she fears they would be kicked off of their plan and have trouble finding insurance that would accept them.
For Share-Kaab, the ultimate solution would be a single-payer system, or “Medicare for All,” as the saying goes.
“We’re extremely concerned,” she said, mentioning that her husband watches the news every evening to try to stay on top of the headlines coming through from Washington D.C.
The demonstrators were celebrating a win on Friday, but are still waiting for a town hall from Fitzpatrick.
Share-Kaab attended the opioid panel where Fitzpatrick was speaking on Saturday morning with a sign expressing her interest in keeping Obamacare afloat. When Share asked Fitzpatrick if he would be holding a town hall, he said that he was planning to hold one.
Fitzpatrick has previously voiced support for working to fix Obamacare before outright repealing it. He also has advocating to fix the healthcare system.