HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Lawmakers are returning to Washington this week after the July 4th recess. First up on the agenda will likely be healthcare. Some Houstonians are hoping to effect the outcome of the bill.
Hundreds showed up to march with Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee as the group gathered for what they call a "Don't Take My Healthcare" rally.
They were marching in front of Houston City Hall. The Congresswoman Lee says she chose this spot because the city Health Department receives Medicaid dollars.
”The Senate Bill they are about to vote on cuts $774 billion dollars out of Medicaid. 74 million people across the United States are on Medicaid. That is no disgrace. That is access to healthcare. It's a lifeline. It's not a hand out,” says Congresswoman Lee.
Several Houston City Council members also marched and rallied with the group. ”I have a brother who is intellectually and physically challenged and he receives Medicaid,” Councilman Robert Gallegos explains.
”My mama's on Medicaid. Ok? It’s important to me. I have a lot of seniors in my district counting on this,” adds Councilman Dwight Boykins.
”Stand up. Fight back,” shouts one man.
”Appropriate healthcare is a human right that all people are deserving of in this nation,” says City of Houston Chief of Education Juliette Stipeche.
Those rallying say millions will be left without benefits if the GOP Healthcare Bill passes and several in the crowd gave testimonials about the importance of having healthcare coverage. “Two weeks from tomorrow I'll be turning 34 and doctors said I wouldn't make it past 21,” explains one man who says he was born with tumors behind both eyes.
”Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, is just not working,” says former Harris County Republican Party Chair Jared Woodfill who says he can't wait for a new healthcare bill to be passed.
“Thank God we have a president and a republican majority in the house and senate willing to repeal Obamacare and replace it with something much better,” says Woodfill.
President Trump tweeted asking lawmakers to pass a healthcare bill before they break again in three weeks.
Those rallying in Houston are encouraging others to speak out and reach out to lawmakers to try to keep the bill from passing.